tagged w/ sustenance
By Jan Moore
Please adhere to all copyright laws applicable when quoting my work.(edit 11-29-2012)
In all of my years of writing about and observing trends in water globally I have decided to affix the term "water abuse" to the description of what mankind is now doing to our global water resources. Pollution, waste and now climate change are giving us a view of the present and future we must heed!
I don't know how else to put it but that besides having a climate emergency we now have a water emergency. Hurricane Sandy was an immense storm beyond what even I could envision hitting this area where I live. And I am angry, because we as humans are turning a substance, a resource of life into a weapon of death that is destructive beyond even what it would normally be. And we are doing it all to serve some illusionary precept that this is what progress is all about.
This is why for me the climate crisis goes to the very heart of who we are as humans. And our treatment of water now at a time when we see it being abused and ravaged by our excesses is a clear indication of our moral compass or lack thereof. How can we as a species continue to condone the global toxification of the only liquid that provides for our survival? How can we continue to push 90 million tons of CO2 out into our atmosphere daily thinking it does nothing to affect the hydrologic cycle? How can we continue to use and abuse our water resources by sucking them out of the ground at deeper and deeper depths without replenishing what we are taking?
Watching Al Gore's presentation on 24 Hours of Reality-The Dirty Weather Report the night of November 15, I was struck by something he quoted from the Bible. That we are "setting an ambush" for ourselves. It is a curious and confusing truth. For so long I have wondered how we as a species could be spending so much time destroying the very resources that give us life when we should be preserving them. How we could be consciously setting an ambush that would lead to our own ultimate demise! No good can come from irreversibly toxifying our major water sources. No good can come from wasting the very resource thar gives us the food we need to live. No good can come from amplifying the natural cycles of this planet to the point where survival is not only challenged but threatened beyond the point of no return.
Billions of people globally depend on the water that provides the miracle of life. The water that for millenia has caressed our shores, grown our food and provided billions with spiritual and physical renewal. We cannot lose this connection. It is us! Instead of water abuse we must see water renewal. We must see water justice. It is the only way we can save ourselves now. Climate change is now the challenge of our time and through our abuse of the systems that sustain life we are destroying it and seeing its reaction to that abuse.
Working in concert with nature is now imperative to having a world we can give to our children. It is not outside our reach to do this. We are capable of doing great things when we come together united in a cause for good. Let this be our cause. Let this be our legacy. We are water. It is us. We are Earth. She is us... and she is in pain now. She needs us. We cannot abandon her. This is the true Reality.
More at the linkBy Jan Moore
Please adhere to all copyright laws applicable when quoting my... more
The state of water in our world currently is endangered. Pollution, privatization, waste, climate change effects and lack of attention to this most crucial life crisis is bringing us to the brink as a species. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. In trying to assess in my own mind why something so basic and necessary to our lives is given such little attention it is frustrating to say the least. Especially in this age of technology when we see through our modems and other devices so much more information than ever before being shared on this and so many other global crises.
When you look at the world as a whole and realize that 3/4 of it live in poverty and that the majority of those areas also do not have access to potable water/sanitation, the corrolation is obvious. Yet, we as a species even in the 21st century are failing at even providing the basic necessities of life to ourselves and others. Why? Why is water so unimportant to so many even though they know they cannot live without it? Is it ignorance? Arrogance? Or is it because there are those who have been made to believe that we will always have what we need because money can buy you anything even at the expense of taking it from others.
Just look at the levels of pollution in our global waterways. Industry and nitrogen fertilizer rich agriculture alone have managed to kill some of the major river systems of the world and made dead zones devoid of the oxygen marinelife needs to survive. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other destructive land uses (fracking, tarsands extraction, strip mining, mountain top removal) are culminating to push our atmosphere and water to the tipping point. We are now seeing more extreme events (storms, floods, droughts) around the world which are the results of human forcings on the natural cycles of the planet to the point where we have actually affected the hydrologic cycle. And this is now being touted as the "new normal."
This has already resulted in billions of dollars of lost agriculture to the world, most recently in Thailand where much of their rice crop has been destroyed from unprecedented floods that are also happening globally simultaneously, as well as extreme droughts on both sides of the world. This then has a domino effect regarding food prices and the ability to live. And with predictions of these events (extreme floods and droughts) becoming more severe with rainfall patterns changing, the entire way the world grows food is being challenged. And in the process more fall into poverty, illness, war and hopelessness as those with more green paper think it buys them rights to the resources of Earth that belong to all mankind.
So for me there can only be one main reason why this has happened. We have strayed from our humanity. We have allowed materialistic manmade forces to infiltrate our consciousness and perceptions of life on this Earth and those skewed perceptions are now killing us and in the process destroying this Earth for future generations.
And it is the hope of changing those perceptions and bringing a paradigm shift in thinking that is now bringing people out into the streets worldwide calling for justice and equality. Calling for accountability for those who have stripped this Earth of all that was once good in exchange for a world of their making that can sustain no one, not even themselves. The false illusion of money's worth in comparison to the limitless value of this Earth coupled with delusions of grandeur built on sand in failing to understand the true meaning of humanity and its true purpose must now be challenged. And that right now is the hope we have as a species... awareness, awakening, gnosis.
The inate instinct that tells us as humans that we are one with this planet and that to destroy her destroys us. This is the lesson we must learn. This is the perception we must impart to others. We are at the brink, but we don't have to go over. There are ways to heal her and ourselves. We can join globally with likeminded individuals who know the stakes and make this shift happen with our thoughts and our actions. We can reclaim our humanity and in the process save ourselves. It won't be easy. However, the alternative is simply not an option.
Water is life, it is our life, it is the blood of Earth.
And it is worth fighting for.The state of water in our world currently is endangered. Pollution, privatization,... more
My life sprang from you
your essence giving me breath
drops falling on my head
promising grace and spiritual oneness
Your loving arms embracing me
as I swam in your energy
my body an instrument of your light
my soul an emulation of your love
From birth to death
your lifeblood was mine
I drank you in
I lived through you
My respect undying
You are life
You are hope
You are love
You are Earth
You are me...
You are water.My life sprang from you
your essence giving me breath
drops falling on my head... more
From now until Halloween, the Sustainable Agriculture Group will post various videos, articles, history, and stories surrounding harvest times throughout civilization and their spiritual meanings. This is truly a magical time for many cultures, and that magic and spirit is expressed through harvest time rituals. So please come and take a look to see what has been posted to celebrate the harvest and the bounty our Earth gives us.
And if you have a special story about harvesting, or are doing it yourself, or simply have something you wish to share about this magical time, please post it in the Sustainable Agriculture Group.
This is the first entry to celebrate and it is one of my favorite Neil Young songs.
JanFrom now until Halloween, the Sustainable Agriculture Group will post various videos,... more
Water is a primordial element which underlays creation myths and stories around the world. The Egyptian Heliopolitan creation story recounts that the sun-god Atum (Re) reposed in the primordial ocean (Nun). In Assyro-Babylonian mythology, first the gods and subsequently all beings arose from the fusion of salt water (Tiamat) and sweet water (Apsu). The holy books of the Hindus explain that all the inhabitants of the earth emerged from the primordial sea. At the beginning of the Judeo-Christian story of creation, the spirit of God is described as stirring above the waters, and a few lines later, God creates a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters (Genesis 1:1-6). In the Koran are the words We have created every living thing from water.
Water divinities of various kinds appear in the mythologies of many cultures. And not surprisingly, the world abounds in sacred springs, rivers, and lakes. Even within the Judeo-Christian tradition, which generally avoids the veneration of the various phenomena of Nature, there are numerous examples of sacred springs or wells, and rivers. In most cases, the spring or river has acquired sacredness through connection with a significant or miraculous event. The water of the River Jordan is sacred because Jesus Christ was baptized in it by Saint John the Baptist. The spring at Lourdes is sacred because of its healing properties in connection with the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette. In some cases, such as the holy well at Chartres, or the Chalice Well at Glastonbury were probably already sacred in pagan times.
While sacred in their own right, sacred springs also draw attention to the sacredness of water itself, reminding the Christian, for example, that water is a symbol of grace (and as such is used for baptism). Water is also one of the four elements possessing fundamental characteristics. In the Canticle of the Sun, St. Francis of Assisi praises God for water: Praised be Thou, O Lord, for sister water, who is very useful, humble, precious, and chaste. In many cultures, water appears as a reflection or an image of the soul. In Japan, water prefigures the purity and pliant simplicity of life. It can be both calm and animated, and the Japanese may contemplate the unruffled surface of a temple pond or make pilgrimages to waterfalls. The lotus-stream of the Buddha or Boddhisattva rises up from the waters of the soul, in the same way the spirit, illumined by knowledge, frees itself from passive existence.
In India, the sacred River Ganges embodies for Hindus the water of life. Bathing in the Ganges frees the bather from sin, the outward purification serving as symbolic support of inward purification. The source of the Ganges lies in the Himalayas, the mountains of the Gods, and descends to the plains of India as if from Heaven.
The identification of the sources of rivers, streams, springs, and wells as sacred is very ancient. Springs and wells were perceived as the dwelling place of supernatural beings, and stories and legends grew up around them. Often it was claimed that the waters healed the injured or cured the sick with the result that well or stream came to be regarded as a sacred shrine. The Roman philosopher Seneca declared that Where a spring rises or a water flows there ought we to build altars and offer sacrifices. This was frequently undertaken.
In some cases wells or streams were oracular. Pausanias (VII, 21. 11) [see BIBLIOGRAPHY] reports that a sacred stream in front of the sanctuary of Demeter at Patras served as an infallible mode of divination using a mirror. Wells and springs inhabited by spirits with the gift of prophecy were places of pilgrimage. The Celts venerated natural springs of water for their sacred and medicinal value and many examples of holy wells are known, many of them were later Christianized through rededication to a saint.
more at the linkWater is a primordial element which underlays creation myths and stories around the... more
On a plot of soil, nestled against the backdrop of skyscrapers in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, a group of residents are turning a lack of access to fresh produce into a revival of old traditions and self-empowerment.
Urban farming is a way for African-Americans to connect with the earth, says Cashawn Myers of HABESHA.
HABESHA Gardens is one of many urban gardens sprouting up around the country. Fruits and vegetables are thriving in this community garden located in an economically depressed area of the city known as Mechanicsville.
But the garden serves an even greater purpose. The harvest helps feed some of the neediest members of the neighborhood.
"It's a reawakening going on. It's almost like it's a renaissance," says Cashawn Myers, director of HABESHA Inc.
"There's a Ghanaian proverb that says Sankofa. Sankofa means return to your past so you can move forward. Even if you look at coming over here during our enslavement, we were brought here to cultivate the land because that's something we did on the continent. So really, that's what many of the people are doing now," he said.
Myers believes urban farming is a way for many African-Americans to reconnect with their past. iReport.com: Show us your urban farm
"They are going through a process of Sankofa and going to what they traditionally did, which is connect to the Earth so they can move forward and grow," he says.
But HABESHA Gardens isn't unique.
Former pro basketball player Will Allen, who is considered to be one of the nation's leading urban farmers and founder of Growing Power Inc., estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of urban gardens in inner cities across America. Urban farms help feed people, sustain neighorhoods »
"It's beyond a movement at this point. Its more like a revolution," says Allen.
Both Allen and Myers agree that the boom in urban farming for African-Americans is born out of necessity and not just echoing traditions.
"Minority people are affected by poor food, more than any other groups," and many inner cities lack access to quality fruits and vegetables, Allen says. "Our food system is broken."
"When you're poor, when you don't have access to resources, you have to create your own," says Myers. "So this is a way for people of African descent to use their creativity to grow their own food."
Many poorer communities don't have full-scale grocery stores. Allen charges that companies have red-lined those areas and won't build stores there.
So community activists like Myers have taken up the fight.
"[Starting] community gardens in local communities, specifically in urban areas, is important, so you create your own food security network," says Myers. "You're not relying on large grocery stores to provide food for everyone because if those grocery stores have problems, your access to food is done."
HABESHA Gardens makes the fresh food accessible to people in Mechanicsville by opening up the garden to people in the community every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
"We invite people from the local community here, the immediate community but also from the greater Atlanta community ... to come out, work in the garden; learn, reconnect with the Earth and also be able to take food home with them after the harvest."
In addition to providing food for those that work in garden, HABESHA partners with organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the MLK Senior Center to provide food from the garden to the hungry and elders in the community.
more at the linkOn a plot of soil, nestled against the backdrop of skyscrapers in downtown Atlanta,... more
According to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), children in rural Niger who received ready-to-use food in addition to their normal diet were nearly 60 percent less likely to progress to the most life-threatening form of malnutrition than children whose diets were not supplemented.
“Highly nutritious ready-to-use food (RUF) is recommended by the UN for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition,” said Rebecca Freeman Grais, one of the leading authors for Epicentre, the research affiliate of the international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). “But this controlled study demonstrates how ready-to-use food can also prevent malnutrition.”
The 2006-2007 cluster randomized study took place in twelve villages in Niger’s Maradi district during the “hunger-gap,” which precedes the yearly harvest, and included all 3,533 children from six months to five years of age in these villages.
Approximately half the children received a daily ration of an energy-dense fortified ready-to-use food (RUF) for three months as a supplement to their regular diet. During the eight-month trial period, children in both groups were followed once a month. The results showed that those children who had received the paste had a 58% lower chance of suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
“This study has direct implications on food aid and nutrition programming,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of MSF’s Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. “Today, most food aid for children is fortified blended flours like the USAID-provided Corn Soy Blend (CSB), which we know lacks the critical nutrients that growing children need and does little to prevent malnutrition. This study shows that providing a nutritionally appropriate alternative to CSB works.”
Undernutrition contributes to 3.5 to 5 million deaths in children under five each year and leads to long-term poor health, disability and poor educational and development outcomes. Preventing severe malnutrition is paramount because the immune system of a severely malnourished child is so impaired that common childhood diseases like respiratory tract infections or stomach viruses can very quickly lead to complications and even death.
The Niger trial used the therapeutic version of an RUF which is a relatively expensive product. But there is reason to believe that alternative lower-cost products can have a similar preventative effect. Alternative products are currently being tried in multiple settings by groups like UNICEF and the World Food Program.
Over the past two years MSF has treated more than 300,000 malnourished children in 22 countries. MSF started to use a preventative strategy with a less expensive lighter food paste in its projects in 2007. Large-scale distributions of such food pastes to small children in the Maradi region reduced the seasonal peak in severe malnutrition.
JAMA Link: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/301/3/277
Article: Effect of Preventive Supplementation With Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food on the Nutritional Status, Mortality, and Morbidity of Children Aged 6 to 60 Months in Niger: A Cluster Randomized TrialAccording to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical... more