An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Review

My wife and I attended an event last night at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, featuring a screening of the new film and an appearance by Al Gore, who gave in an interview and update of what’s been happening since the release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006.  What I describe below are features and conclusions expressed in the film and by Al Gore during his interview.

The essential truth is that climate change and the warming of the Planet Earth is not a political issue.  It is not hypothetical.  It is not a projection for the future.  It is here.  It is reality.  It has been made a political issue in America by the fossil fuel industry and well-healed and powerful people who are being made richer by denying that reality.  It’s that simple.

The political ploys that they have used are nearly identical to those that were employed by the tobacco industry in the suppression and obfuscation of smoking related health data in the 1980’s.  The results have also been similar.  They have spent over two billion dollars on their campaign to sway public opinion on the issue.  Their efforts have have been somewhat successful.  A significant segment of the population has been successfully misled, which has produced a widespread apathy to to the urgency of the situation and to the issue itself.

Science is a major proponent of truth in our civilization.  It is not inherently wise, but it can tell us when something is broken, and often, how to fix it.  Climate science has already shown us how to fix the climate problem physically.  It has fallen short of helping enough people in power to develop the will to do something about it.

In order to fix that, it has taken a serious advocate, in the person of Al Gore, to champion the endeavor to educate and otherwise shift the awareness of people toward the truth.

The most prominent example of this is Gore’s negotiations with the Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi during around the time of the global climate conference in 2015.  Modi was reluctant to lend his support for a climate accord because he felt that the Indian economy was not strong enough to shift resources toward the development of new alternative energy technologies and industries.  The need for the developing nation’s increase in energy production was immediate, with no room for mistakes. Modi and Parliament were on the verge of authorizing the building of 400 new coal based generation plants.  Gore realized that that would be a climate catastrophe.  He also realized that it was not their fault for their thinking that way.  India was in a really tough spot.

So, Gore contacted Solar City’s CEO Lyndon Rive about negotiating an agreement with India for the transfer of solar photovoltaic technology to India that would benefit both India and Solar City.  After intense negotiations, the deal was done, and Modi agreed to join the Paris climate accord.  Now that’s deal making.

Gore admitted, both to the audience and in the film, that he was often on the verge of despair regarding the trend of American politics on the matter.  Still, he persevered.  The history of setbacks is long.

One of the first was the cancellation of the NASA DSCOVR project.  It was one of the first casualties of George W Bush’s new administration.  The project was intended to launch a satellite into a solar orbit that is synchronized with the orbit of the earth in order to observe the earth from a constant “full earth” perspective.  It could make make measurements of the earth 24/7 which could then be analyzed to yield useful climate data.  For example, it would be a constant monitor over time of the ratio of incident and reflected energy on the earth.  That would yield an accurate measurement of how much energy is being absorbed by greenhouse gasses and the rise of global temperatures.

Many setbacks have occurred in America with the election of climate denying politicians to government office, and most recently, the appointment of many of them to federal executive cabinet and other high ranking positions.

On the other hand, there seems to be a global trend for the adoption of renewable energy sources.  Even in the US, in Texas, no less, one town proudly touts its 100% reliance on these resources. Some states have nearly reached 100% fossil fuel independence.  Across the world, the adoption and use of renewable energy is accelerating dramatically.  In Chile, in the last year or so, the production of renewable energy has grown by several thousand percent.  China has committed to the movement.

When asked whether a tipping point has been reached in the industrial and political adoption of renewable energy, Gore did not state unequivocally that it has, but he indicated that he thinks it’s inevitable.  He remains hopeful.

There were many examples shown in the movie of devastating events that have occurred worldwide since the last movie that are directly and unequivocally attributable to temperature and climate. Amid all the massive devastation, one event really stood out as a surprising and disturbing data point.

In 2015 a massive deluge was recorded in Tucson.  It seemed to be an aerial view of clouds dumping water (billions of gallons?) on Tucson as if a giant barrel in the sky tipped over.  You could actually make out the splash  of the water on the ground. Not drops. Barrels.

I don’t recall any mention of tipping points with regard to climate change itself.  That is, the point at which the planet will not recover sufficiently to stop the warming progression.  This was a prominent topic earlier on in the discussion.

See movie trailer

See interview at Greek Theater (video shaky, audio good)

 

The Milky Way Galaxy

On the platform of our planet Earth we can view the milky extending across the sky.  Mostly, we see the edge of the flat disk that is the galaxy in which we live.

Published on Apr 28, 2017

This video takes a close look at a new image of the Milky Way released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys.

 

Chinese Snowballs at Huntington Gardens

Chinese Snowballs

For a few hours our minds are happy prisoners
of plants and trees in full April bloom,
recent rains returning a truer green
to our LA landscape, even the cacti
grateful for the plentiful showers
which broke years of drought.
We forget the danger that fills our nightly
news, the warnings from journalists,
that feeling of being bombarded
from every direction with no escape –
yet we do, set free in these gardens
seeded from every continent.
Who would guess there are so many
types of aloe, both local and as faraway
as Madagascar and Brazil?
The Japanese maples are peaking
in bright red and crimson, while
Chinese snowball trees burst
with festive white pom-poms.
So much beauty, enough for
all who pay attention – whether
hummingbird or freeway driver,
honey bee, lizard, or goose –
the world raging outside impossible
to bring into this conversation.
Amy Uyematsu

Amy Uyematsu

 

Raul, Hari Nam, Ellen

Astrology as Wisdom

Many of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan refer to the transition of consciousness from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age.  That reference comes from a view of the Cosmos that is based on a system that relates the relative positions of celestial bodies to their effects on consciousness.  There are many systems like as this, including numerology, which uses combinations of numerals and sometimes geometry, the I Ching, which divines relative proportions of yin and yang and their movement,  systems involving the relative quantities of five elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether (ayurvedic) and other systems.

The systems themselves are empty, but they are self-consistent and depend on the application of the system to a given circumstance.  In principle, the tendency of a state of being (consciousness) can be described by each system by divining the relations between the components of the system relative to a given situation (event), e.g., a point in time or space or both.  Generally, it is an intuitive process performed by the one who is reading the components and who is in relation with the event.

I have been offering my readings using the ancient Chinese oracle the I Ching in order to provide a sense of the main tendency on a daily basis for those who would seek it.

From time to time, it seems useful also to share an astrological view of what is going on around us and within us.  If you look, you may see reflections of those inner and outer conditions in descriptions of astrological phenomena provided by those who are adept readers of that slice of the cosmos.  So, I have decided to share some of these readings which are designed for public consumption.  Mostly, my selections of these readings are based on what appear to be alignments that may have the capacity to produce conditions of significant intensity that many of us are, or can be, aware of in our environment and in our lives.  When we begin to see those interdependencies, sometimes they seem quite extraordinary. And, they can be helpful in forming how we relate with them.

Read on, and enjoy.

 

New Moon/Solar Eclipse February 26, 2017

The last of the virgo/pisces eclipses that began in march of 2015 occurs on Sunday February 26th at 6:58am PST when the new moon/Solar Eclipse at 8’12 pisces is exact.  Since early 2015 we have been gifted with lessons and opportunities to bridge the mundane and the sacred, the material and the spiritual.  Virgo is focused on reality, discernment and doing one’s inner and outer work- while pisces is focused on surrender, trust, faith and oneness.  The journey in the last couple of years has been to find where we overdo one focus as the expense of the other so we can find the middle path.  Too much detail oriented (like virgo) and we miss seeing the Bigger Picture (which is pisces).  Too much idealism and ungrounded fantasy and we float off the earth (very pisces) and are disconnected from our bodies and being here now (virgo).  Looking over the last 2 years and seeing how these lessons played out for you and how you navigate your path of learning and growing through these lessons can be insightful right now.

Solar eclipses are amplified new moons- which typically speak to new directions, seeds planted or new things coming in.  but this new moon is on the karmic south node- the point of the past where we get stuck, stay too long, play out karmic patterns and avoid our growth and evolution.  With the karmic south node in its last hurrah in pisces (it will shift into aquarius in may 2017) we have our last bit of focus on where we overdo the pisces energy:  live in denial, delusion, believe or perpetrate illusions, bury our heads in the sand to avoid the shadow within or without, turn to addictions to numb out, play the victim or the martyr, play out codependent dynamic with others, spiritually by pass, disassociate, try to save everyone else but ourselves and more.  This is personal but also collective- looking at the smoke and mirrors going on in the world right now.  What is the truth?  What is a lie?  Where are we being deceived?  Where are we deceiving ourselves?  Where are we living a lie?  This eclipse on the south node brings a new beginning to relating to our own Unconscious.  Where previously we let it run us, now we are challenged to step up, relate to it directly, see the shadow dynamics playing out rather than paint them in Love and Light to avoid the darkness going on behind the scenes.  Many of us have been living comfortably numb- sucked into our iphones, computers, dining out, shopping, living a privileged western life.  But guess what- now the collective shadow is out in the open.  We are starting to see other’s but also our own prejudices, darkness, hidden secrets.  It’s all coming out in the open- we are living in a time of transparency where what is behind the screen comes out into the Light.

We can use this solar eclipse energy to be willing, able and proactive about facing this shadow within and without.  With Neptune on the eclipse- the illusions and seductive fantasies of what could have been, should have been, would have been just keep us stuck in the past and in cycles of repetition and karma.  We have to BE HERE NOW and see what IS right now- in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us.  Only then are we truly empowered to change things and make them into what they can be.

A key signature of this eclipse is the mars/Uranus/eris conjunction opposite Jupiter- mars triggers all 3 bodies from Wednesday February 22nd through the 27th with the 2nd of 3 jupiter/Uranus oppositions on march 2nd.  This is some radical, revolutionary energy that can play out as activism, taking a stand, making huge waves that instigate change!  It can also express as a lot of anger and rage.  we need to remember Jupiter is in libra teaching us that to truly win we cannot have winners and losers.  We all share this planet, we all are connected.  If one person/country/political party benefits but another loses we stay stuck in the same game no matter what side we are on.  The days leading up to and following this eclipse can be particularly intense.  Using mars in aries energy to take conscious action and deal with things head on while mitigating his tendency to aggression, reactivity, impulsivity, selfishness and even violence is key.  Mars/Uranus/eris can wake us up in good ways or not so good ways.  Consciousness is key!

This analysis is reprinted from Divine Harmony.

Meditation

About Astrology as Wisdom

Meditation: For contemplating what comes next after the Women’s March

 

 

Meditations:
la0967-division-and-oneness
“You know each other, because you were all born in the same time and space as a batch of the third millennium. No matter where we live—we have all come to the planet Earth. You know that you are here. Do you accept that everyone knows everyone? Do you ever go up to someone and say “Hi, you are here, I am here!” without knowing the person’s name? Whenever dealing with people, remember you are here along with everyone else all of the time.” – Yogi Bhajan

Balancing projection with intention
Yogic scriptures tell us of the four stages of the mind: normal awareness, the dream state, total mental rest, and total awareness. Mastery of this meditation enables the practitioner to master these four levels of the mind. It can create a mental equilibrium so that our expression will be consistent with our intention.
Contemplating our intention will align our intention with our identity.

Living above denial and the faculty of self engagement

When we feel badly about what is going on around us, and feel helpless to do anything about it, we are denying who we are and separating ourselves from it.  Rather, we should know the self that is equal to the challenge and  engage it rather than separate or shrink from it.

Increase the flow of spirit in you
When everything is upside down and stagnation and chaos prevail, it is time to be and not do.  There is nothing to do personally but peacefully participate in the divine flow.  That flow is present even in chaos and will emerge as the way everything will eventually right itself.  The situation is too complex to force any single remedy successfully.  Relying on your inner worth with perseverance and being in the flow will allow divine wisdom to take its course.
From “It is time to be and not do”.

Develop patience and intuition
You must consciously breathe the breath of life. Give yourself a chance to wait, and the patience to understand. When you meet and talk with somebody, or think about somebody, you cannot even think of that person’s condition if you do not use patience and intuition. If you do not use patience and intuition you will do a lot of wrong. Patience and intuition are essential in order to meditatively assess what is going on.

 

About this page
After the women’s march, it is useful to contemplate what comes next.  As individuals, a community and a nation, men and women, we can look first within ourselves to know our light, find our strengths, and gather the means for making an effective impact that will heal our communities and bring them together, local and global.  Then we can reach out and join with others communicating our ideas and plans.

I have begun this page as a means of reminding us of the motivations that brought everyone together and as a means of sustaining the internal space that it opened in us through that experience.  It is a collection of meditations that I feel will contribute to that intention.  All the meditations were given to us by my teacher, Yogi Bhajan.  They come from the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, which is simply a technology that gives us tools for living a happy life. Continue reading “Meditation: For contemplating what comes next after the Women’s March”

Truth is being redefined

Throughout the ages, there have been only a few pillars upon which  standards have been developed for discerning Truth.  Reason is one of them.  Plato wrote about it millennia ago.  Reason has been applied by individuals,  groups of individuals and most nations.  Reason is the basic foundation of the Republic.  Modern republics exist because their peoples have accepted the basic veracity of reason and have agreed to live by it.

Sages that lived in India and China gave us simple principles to live by whereby we can learn to supplement Truth with intuition in order to fill in gaps that reason leaves us with when we ask really hard questions, such as posing moral dilemmas, or complex questions that include overwhelming amounts of data, often with conflicting components.

With a balance of reason and intuition, it seems that we can know anything   we need to know in order to proceed wisely in any situation.  They give us wisdom.  Great leaders tend to master that balance not just to accumulate power and win the consent of those they govern, but to advance their civilization in ways that reflect that wisdom.

Now, we seem to have come to a point where Truth itself is being marginalized in the public discourse.  Not that there is conflict in opposing views, but that Truth just doesn’t matter.  What is replacing Truth as the most important thing is belief.

Truth cannot be controlled.  Belief can.  Just as mighty conquerors would impose a new order on the civilizations of the conquered, modern conquerors are doing the same.  They are using the same model, only the currency has changed.  The old currency was weapons and brute force.  The new currency is money and persuasion.  It used to be the biggest army that prevailed.  That is more difficult to pull off these days, since too many people are now aware of the Truth, which is the most powerful ally.  Now, it is the biggest megaphone that wishes to neutralize that most powerful ally.  Truth must be discredited.  Not true, who cares?

Fortunately, there is an even a bigger movement afoot that will ultimately preserve the dignity of mankind, and perhaps the human race.  The vast majority still recognizes Truth and continues to hone intuition and balance it with reason.

Meditation for balancing reason and intuition.

Stay tuned.