Update on the global energy dilemma

March 14, 2011 Comments off

Japan earthquake nuclear plant damageThe recent Japan nuclear disasters and their uncertain outcome are telling us once again that nuclear power and the very existence of nuclear weapons is hazardous to life for generations to come.  Yet our leaders steadfastly continue to support ever more consumption of nuclear power and hydrocarbon energy in the face of obvious and overwhelming problems, where we need to phase out these energy sources and phase in a blend of totally new clean energy sources that would involve a publicly transparent research effort that should rival that of the Manhattan and Apollo projects.

Of all the polluting activities that humanity pursues, there is none more damaging to the environment than the abuse of energy.  The extraction of oil, coal and uranium in increasingly sensitive ecosystems, their transport, their incineration and their disposal are causing more environmental havoc on Earth than any other single factor.  But the awesome multitrillion dollar vested industrial interests have so far staved off any attempt to curb this extraction.  Whether it’s the BP Gulf oil gusher, the Chevron-Texaco decimation of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the leveling of West Virginia mountaintops, the dirty extractions of tar sands in Alberta or the resulting deforestation and water and air pollution or earthquake-induced radiation emissions from nuclear power plants, the story is always the same: the vast extraction and burning of hydrocarbons are destroying the planet.  The mandate to cut way back on coal, oil and nuclear use—now 80 percent of the world’s energy mix—is reinforced by the scientific consensus that the principal cause of global climate change and the acidification of the oceans is in fact the routine burning of hydrocarbons and uranium.  Yet public policies remain unchanged, even in the face of our headlong race into ecological catastrophe.  There is little time to spare before we experience an irreversible tipping point of instability in our climate and in our dying ecosystems. Is it not collective insanity for humanity to rely on such dirty energy?  Our top priority should be the introduction of truly clean, sustainable energy.

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On the Need for New Governance

March 10, 2011 Comments off

Introduction

Many of us in the scientific, environmental and progressive communities have become increasingly alarmed about the dire global emergency we now face.  The nations of the world truly lack authentic leadership to redirect our course to the goals of peace, justice and sustainability.  We need new governance systems to guide our future destiny for the good of ourselves, all of nature and future generations.

Those of us who are knowledgeable about future possibilities–whether they be in creating breakthrough clean technologies or in consciously ending war, corruption, greed, injustice and environmental devastation–have been divided and ruled by a tyranny so pervasive and insidious that it has manipulated us into standing by in powerlessness, ignorance and complacency.

It is now time for us to declare “enough” and to embark on a new mission—one dedicated to the values of truth, beauty, compassion, and humility.

To these ends we dedicate ourselves as we chart a new course that will ensure for ourselves and future generations a peaceful, just and sustainable world.  Nothing less will serve the needs of the planet in this time of grave crisis and unprecedented opportunity.

What Doesn’t Work

It is far easier to identify systemic corruptions that don’t work under current governance than to propose new governance systems that do work.  For example, the peaceful democratic protests of early 2011 from Wisconsin to Egypt all reflect a desire to end the tyrannies of top leadership in those jurisdictions, but they are not as clear about what kind of governance they want to replace the old tyrannies. It’s often stated that you need to let go of what you don’t want before bringing in what you do want.

Therein begins the revolutionary process, but it’s only the beginning.  We need to follow an agenda that would fulfill Buckminster Fuller’s adage, “There is only one kind of revolution, and that’s revolution by design.”

The progressive literature spells out the tyrannies of vested interests that control our governments, particularly the U.S. government.  These systems must be replaced by governance that truly serves the needs of the people and the planet if we are to have any chance of surviving these times.   Some of the websites that accurately describe our collective dilemma include www.commondreams.orgwww.globalresearch.ca, www.alternet.org, and www.informationclearinghouse.info.  There is no need to repeat here the abundant evidence they cite for our accelerating global decline due to careless human interventions.

We can conclude from the evidence, however, that what doesn’t work at a basic systemic level includes at least the following:

•   The use of dirty energy, particularly oil and coal, but also most of the other energy sources now in use as well, which are simply unsustainable when full life-cycle environmental costs are considered;

•   Unsustainable agriculture, mining, forestry, and land development; unsustainable water and waste management; and unsustainable chemical, biotechnical and pharmaceutical production;

•   Unnecessary, expensive and morally corrupt wars, which are accompanied by torture, lies, cover-ups, domestic spying, bloated military budgets and the continuing terror of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction;

•   The corrupt financial power and dominance of central bankers and Wall Street, including related bribes to politicians and judges, resulting in a growing division between rich and poor; and

•   Corporate control of the government through lobbying and other monetary subversions, resulting in governmental acceptance of the unsustainable practices listed above.

We believe that, first and foremost, these practices must end as soon as possible, with a carefully planned phasing-out of those institutions that promote and benefit from them.

What Does Work

We believe that an intelligently planned design process must now begin, one that would implement truly sustainable practices in place of our current destructive activities.  The design of such practices will proceed from an assessment of a broad range of technologies  to determine which should be selected for research and development and what kind of governance should be applied to ensure their safe and timely introduction.  Among the most urgent tasks that lie ahead will be to deploy:

•   Clean breakthrough energy systems, previously suppressed, that could effectively solve the energy crisis, eliminating the extracting and burning of fossil and nuclear fuels and the pollution from other central station/grid sources;

•    Clean water, energy and waste management systems, based on technologies such as those of Viktor Schauberger;

•    The power of combined human intention to heal ourselves and our environment;

•    Sustainable organic and medicinal agriculture to replace large monocultures, GMOs and the use of pesticides and herbicides;

•    The cessation of all other unsustainable practices, such as chemtrails, toxic dumping, unnecessary mining, and geoengineering;

•    Protected research and development centers to phase in the new sustainable technologies under the guidance of new governance systems that are not influenced by financial gain or outside parties;

•    The end of unnecessary war, military spending, and secrecy; the abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; and the creation of an Earth Corps to clean up the planet;

•    A total revision of the monetary and financial reward system that would ensure the end of the current domination by central banks, which has resulted in unlimited wealth for the few and growing poverty for the many; and

•   An abandonment of economic growth as the principal driver of public policy.

A new governance system must ensure that these goals and others of the same nature be implemented as soon as possible. Our very survival depends on adopting these measures.

Overcoming Vested Interests

Perhaps the greatest challenge lies in overcoming the inertia of powerful vested interests.  By following the money, we generally see that the more profitable the enterprise, the more it is likely to be involved in pollution and unethical practices.  A dramatic example involves the billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch, who both pollute the environment and also fund leading Republican politicians, who then pass laws that enable polluters to continue polluting and increasing their profits while cutting their taxes—a dynamic that is ultimately unsustainable to the nation and the entire planet.

Of all the polluting activities that humanity pursues, there is none more damaging to the environment than the abuse of energy.  The extraction of oil, coal and uranium in increasingly sensitive ecosystems, their transport, their incineration and their disposal are causing more environmental havoc on Earth than any other single factor.  But the awesome multitrillion dollar vested industrial interests have so far staved off any attempt to curb this extraction.  Whether it’s the BP Gulf oil gusher, the Chevron-Texaco decimation of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the leveling of West Virginia mountaintops, the dirty extractions of tar sands in Alberta or the resulting deforestation and water and air pollution or earthquake-induced radiation emissions from nuclear power plants, the story is always the same: the vast extraction and burning of hydrocarbons are destroying the planet.  The mandate to cut way back on coal, oil and nuclear use—now 80 percent of the world’s energy mix—is reinforced by the scientific consensus that the principal cause of global climate change and the acidification of the oceans is in fact the routine burning of hydrocarbons and uranium.  Yet public policies remain unchanged, even in the face of our headlong race into ecological catastrophe.  There is little time to spare before we experience an irreversible tipping point of instability in our climate and in our dying ecosystems. Is it not collective insanity for humanity to rely on such dirty energy?  Our top priority should be the introduction of truly clean, sustainable energy.

Building a Consensus

The requirement to design truly sustainable energy systems is in many ways the easiest place to start.  Energy involves physical problems that demand physical solutions.  We must insist on having sustainable energy regardless of how the technologies are eventually implemented, which ones are selected or when they come on-line.   Those decisions will emerge from an ongoing process of assessment.  First we need to research, assess and develop a variety of parallel technologies, any one or some of which will become dominant in our future energy mix.

Our mantra should always be, Is this particular approach truly sustainable? Is it cheap, totally clean, decentralized, safe, reliable, publicly transparent and selected honestly for its environmental friendliness?  The design requirement for the systems to be developed is that they be as sustainable as possible from a wide variety of options being assessed.

The best way to achieve these goals is to create publicly supported R&D centers to assess and build the most promising options, ranging from bridge technologies that work for nature rather than against nature (e.g., Gunter Pauli’s “Blue Economy”) to the most elegant breakthrough energy systems.  We should pursue many approaches in search of the best ones, and we will advance our knowledge even from those approaches that are not selected for further development.

The ongoing process of selection is not likely to be as challenging a task as the equitable distribution of the technology for the common good.  Selection will be largely based on an ongoing assessment of which technologies best fit the criterion of sustainability generations from now.   But the more difficult challenge will involve introducing innovative technologies to the world so that everyone benefits from them.  This will be the principal task of the new governance system.

The new governance will need to be sovereign for it to do its job effectively.  We can no longer tolerate the suppressions of the past.  The new initiatives should apply to governance at all levels—local, regional and global.  Evolving the wisest consensus will involve an ongoing process of assessing, researching, developing and introducing the most sustainable innovations —in an environment where we are protected from all vested interests.  We will need to be free to move forward independent of outside influences.

Conclusion

Given that we are all knowledgeable about the dire circumstances of today’s world, we won’t need to spend time focusing on the destructiveness of the old paradigm, but instead we can move forward briskly on conceptual designs for the new governance and breakthrough clean energy systems. The planet is crying out to us to adopt a kinder and better way of life as soon as possible.  We needn’t be confined to any particular locale, bioregion or planet as a whole, because the requirements of sustainability and sovereignty everywhere are the principal drivers for the new world we wish to create.  It’s time to get on with the job—before it’s too late.

Call for an Alliance for Sovereignty and Sustainability in Latin America

March 10, 2011 Comments off

The time has come for us to conceive new governance systems devoid of corruption and vulnerability to outside influences and dedicated to peace, sustainability and justice throughout the region.

For centuries the United States and other imperialist powers have been destroying the livelihoods of millions of people and natural habitats in Latin America through economic exploitation, military invasions, engineered coup d’etats, ruthless extractivism and pervasive ecocide.  Although many nations are now becoming more democratic and independent of the pressures and exploitations from the North, and are providing their citizens with more opportunities and improved infrastructures, the economic imperialism is still present in a more subtle form.

As much as the new “progressive” governments and alliances in Latin America claim to be turning over a new leaf, the exploitation continues at a brisk pace with multinational corporations, aided by imperialist powers, still dominating the economy. Although more revenues than in the past are now coming into these nations from the export of oil, gas and agro-mineral resources, these payments are inadequate to fully support progressive measures, and furthermore they can support these measures only temporarily until the resources are depleted. Ironically, these payments from multinationals have bought the silence of the governments and prevented them from taking a stand with indigenous peoples and environmentalists to preserve, restore and sustain their ecosystems. This silence regarding the rights of nature and indigenous people has grave implications for global climate and biodiversity.  Without government support and protection for indigenous people and their natural ecosystems, the rape of the environment ultimately destroys all in its wake.  It’s time to declare “enough” and pursue a much more conscious path toward sovereignty and sustainability.  The entire future of Latin America is endangered if we don’t take this path.

Moreover, under pressure to service a multibillion dollar debt agreed to by previous corrupt governments, current governments often find themselves still making payments that by now are often collectively well in excess of the loan principals.  Partly due to this pressure, Latin American nations continue to grant lucrative leases to the large oil, mining and agricultural companies to exploit the most biodiverse and fertile habitats on Earth, creating ecological and cultural havoc in their wake, in return for some short-term income for the government.  These “bribes” might make a particular government look good temporarily and provide some debt servicing, development and employment opportunities, but they are disastrous in the long run in their effect on true sovereignty and sustainability in the region.

One-third of Ecuador’s revenues, for example, come from oil exports.  As the films Crude and Yasuni clearly show, the devastation of the land, the water and the indigenous communities in the rainforest due to the exploitation of oil is widespread and can be permanent.  Because a full 80 percent of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon is earmarked for oil drilling, the consequent road-building is causing Ecuador’s deforestation rate to be the highest in South America, at 3 percent per year.  At that rate, half the jungle will be gone in just 25 years and most of the voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples will be destroyed or violently displaced.

All of this waste and devastation is unnecessary.  It is possible to leave the oil and minerals in the ground and instead create long-term programs to provide the people of Latin America with abundance and true sustainability through innovation that works with nature rather than against nature. Such innovations include clean breakthrough energy, sustainable organic agriculture, clean water and waste management, natural medicines, industrial hemp, permaculture, eco-tourism, health tourism, regionalized economies and a reformed monetary system that serves the needs of the people.

In light of the frightening escalation of environmental destruction in Latin America, combined with the fact that the world economic and political strongholds of the North are beginning to fall like dominoes, now is the time for us to join together to implement new policies to ensure sovereignty and sustainability for the Latin American peoples for generations to come.  Only then can we fulfill the prophecy of the coming together of the eagle and the condor in lasting peace.

Radical Innovation, Relocalization and Sustainability

February 16, 2011 Comments off

One of the most vexing and urgent question of our time is, how can we achieve sustainabiity?  That was the question twenty-seven of us souls mulled over for a week during the Phoenix Gathering here at Montesueños in June 2008 and re-localization was surely a central theme throughout the meeting and afterwards.  But would re-localization in and of itself be enough to solve the sustainability problem?  I don’t think so.  Surely innovation must also play a part in creating the new world.

The technology piece is more elusive to many of us because of a collective lack of awareness of transcendent possibilities that also threaten the status quo, especially the  “free” energy technologies that have shown proofs-of-concept but have been violently suppressed ever since the time of Nikola Tesla.  But many of us are skeptical of even its possibility because we don’t have it now and we don’t understand the complex process of research and development of bold new technologies, which in this case has not at all been supported.   I’m certain we could have it through further development if we so choose, in spite of all the scientific naysaying.  My essay The Turquoise Revolution posted on my website addresses the nagging question of why most scientists, environmentalists and progressives deny the possibility of a future with breakthrough clean energy and water technologies.

This is quite analogous to the development of aviation.  The Wrights had been flying for about two years, with thousands witnessing this, yet the journalist covering the first flights was fired and Scientific American wrote an editorial saying aviation was a fraud.  Well, on the energy question, the Wrights have been flying many times and while we can’t project exactly which specific technology(ies) will be the one(s) we’ll adopt, we are learning the principles that will make it work after further development.  The results can be elegant by imposing the requirement of sustainability throughout the process–unlike the development of nuclear power.

I completely agree that 1950s sci-fi style technology, i.e., monorails, etc, will not do the trick.  But newer, more sustainable technologies could be researched.  When combined with re-localized governance and monetary systems, radical innovation will be necessary for us to have a prayer of achieving a truly sustainable future.  Unfortunately, the earlier Zeitgeist films did not represent these possibilities (I haven’t seen the latest one), and restricts the visionary part of the film to the work of Jacques Fresco of the Venus Project, which is a very limited vision (e.g., monorails) of what we can actually create.

The caveat in doing the research and introducing the technologies is IF they can be responsibly implemented.  This goes back to the question of social/economic/political responsibility at all levels of action, from local to regional to global.  In other words, from my perspective, having seen experimental devices actually work in many laboratories in many countries but where these researchers have been stymied, I can vouch with high confidence that the technology piece can be established and a truly sustainable future can be designed, the hard parts being to undo the suppression and to implement the new projects ethically.

To achieve our shared desire for sustainability, I believe we’re going to need to have protected R&D centers worldwide, or “innovation sanctuaries” (an idea we introduced in one of our breakout groups during the Phoenix Gathering) and a very careful management for the implementation.  I’m talking principally about breakthrough clean energy, water purification/restructuring, and some of the excellent ideas now coming out in restoration ecology and other nature-friendly ideas (e.g., Gunter Pauli’s The Blue Economy). The state-of-the-art of sustainable innovation needs to be much better understood by all of us so we can make intelligent choices rather than flying blind as we are now, where by default, the important decisions are being made at the corporate/government level with no regard to sustainability.  But technology can serve us well if we’re wise about how it should be applied; we needn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

So I see re-localization as a promising social innovation, with a cross-cut of sustainable R&D carefully introduced into a distributed culture.  Our imperiled planetary environment is a physical situation that calls out for physical solutions that only deeper awareness, knowledge and wisdom can solve.

Yasuni

January 27, 2011 Comments off

The excellent documentary film “Yasuni: Two Seconds for Life” is now complete and ready to be shown in theatres worldwide.  This real-life Avatar depicts the grave threat to the Ecuadorian Amazon of the most precious, biodiverse rainforest and indigenous habitat in the world by oil drilling and associated pollution and deforestation.  A bold proposal brought forward by the government of Ecuador inviting the international community to match funds to keep the oil in the ground in terms of potential lost revenues could provide the needed impetus to save the rainforest, but time is running out before the government withdraws its offer by the end of 2011.  Funds will be needed both to get the film out there to theatres worldwide this year and to begin collecting those moneys required to reverse the killing of Mother Earth and its remaining indigenous peoples and to create a new, sustainable future for us all.

2010 Log: This is the Year that Was

December 21, 2010 Comments off


Little did I know that on my seventieth birthday last January that 2010 would be the year of facing the physical deaths of two siblings and almost myself — along with a growing awareness of aging — but it has also been a year ending with new life and new hope.  As a kid, I was always into numbers, and the year 2010 was for me almost unimaginably futuristic.  Maybe we’d be zipping around in space, maybe we’d have been annihilated by nuclear war, maybe I’d be dead of a heart attack (like my father at age 67) or maybe I’d just still be here taking in life or retired on a golf course or old age home, or be a professor emeritus in a college town or doing whatever I could to lend a hand to society while I was still here in my body.

In August I lost my only sister and in November I lost my only sister-in-law, both to cancer.  Later in August I myself almost passed over from a heart attack that landed me in a local hospital ICU.  Here’s the story:

I went to bed early on the night of August 24, 2010, even before I could take in one of the most beautiful sunsets of the year, one of two days of the year when the sun drops behind the nose of Mandango as we see it from Montesueños.  It also was my father’s birthday; he’d have been 108 on that day.  I was very tired with back pains, and worn out from a very busy month culminating with an ayahuasca ceremony that in some ways didn’t sit well with my stomach and my psyche.  From August 14 to 17, I had hosted and spoken at The Innovators Symposium here on solutions to sustainability in Ecuador.  I had also traveled to Quito to make a presentation about saving the rainforest and creating economic sovereignty for Ecuador by breakthrough clean innovation in energy, food, water and waste management.

As the Pisces full moon rose over the meditation tower and Meredith and our guests were observing a full moon ceremony, I drifted off to a physically and psychically dark-feeling semi-sleep.  Something was wrong with my body, something was getting worse rather than better, but I didn’t know what or why.

It was midnight during the weird hazy moon-basked restless night when the severe chest and upper back pains came on.  I then realized I was having a heart attack — my second in almost twenty years.  Oddly, I’ve never felt any such symptoms, even mild chest pains, at any other time in my life, either before or after the two heart attacks.

Somehow I endured the rest of the night in pain.  The previous heart attack, also experienced in the middle of the night, was a similar event as described in my book The Second Coming of Science — except this time, I decided to go to the hospital shortly after daybreak rather than to ride it out in bed with Meredith’s support.  So Dumar drove me to a medical clinic in Loja, an hour’s drive away. 

The chest and back pains continued as I visited the doctor, who immediately admitted me to the hospital intensive care unit “for 48 hours of observation.”  And what an experience, plunging into a sterile mainstream medical environment, with them poking my skin and orifices with no end of needles, pills and catheters.  That first morphine shot sure made me feel better, but so drugged me that I was mostly oblivious of visitors who were told by the doctors that I should be flown to Quito for an angiogram and possible angioplasty or a bypass operation at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. I braved it out at the ICU until late that night, when a friendly young Ecuadorian doctor happily announced to me that my condition was now stable and the pains also went away.

Yet another day passed. I was at the agreed-upon 48-hour point in the ICU, and Meredith and our friend Lucia were on hand to spring me out of my costly imprisonment.  For some very minor technical reasons, the doctors wanted me to stay; they were feeding me with intravenous dopamine to raise my blood pressure, which had become unstable as the competing medications consumed my body, including the dopamine itself.  Even though I was groggy, we had a plan to get me out of there:  for us to visualize the blood pressure going to normal by weaning me off the dopamine.  Lo and behold, after an hour or so, we achieved our goal, to the amazement of the attending doctor and nurse.  Ah, the power of intention overriding the Western model was shown to me again — either that or the possibility that the costly dopamine itself was destabilizing my blood pressure. 

During the long, laborious check-out at the hospital, a substantial bill was presented to us for the stay.  So we scratched up the cash and got the hell out of there.  This was an extraordinary bill for Ecuador, and for us too, mostly going for the medications. I now know from direct experience that hospitals are where you go only in the event of a dire emergency.  They’re truly unhealthy places.

During my stay in the ICU, I was given a bewildering array of diarrhea-or-constipation-inducing and and zombie-producing pharmaceuticals ranging from morphine to dopamine, from nitroglycerine spray to Norvasc, from Xanex to Lipitor, from Cumadin to antibiotics, from IVs to blood extraction needles, from catheters to to the automated arm squeezes of blood pressure and pulse measurements.  Loved ones were being kept at bay while doctors and nurses continued to drug me and monitor me — and to serve me some of the most unhealthy imaginable institutional food.  Their intentions were good and they did everything they knew within their own model to keep my body going…but things seemed to be out of control and artificial (the body and the system).  Their take-home prescriptions alone comprised a similar pharmacopia whose potential cost to me for the first purchase would have been $370!

This life-changing event at age seventy has told me as much about the tyranny of the medical system as it did about myself.  Everywhere, even in remote southern Ecuador, the medical community has become ensnared in a tyrannical pharmaceutical push toward capitalistic hegemony over “health.”  The US Food and Drug Administration has become the “legal” drug-pushers over much of the population while the true alternative medicine pioneers like Greg Caton and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski are violently suppressed by FDA edicts.  We live in a very bizarre world.

Meanwhile, over the objections of some acquaintances, I ignored all my medical prescriptions and embarked on an intensive natural healing path, one that is serving me well.  I avoid alcohol, coffee, bread, meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods and am chelating, detoxing, and taking in lots of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, herbs, fruit and veggies.  A visit back to my cardiologist last month (three months after the attack) surprised him:  my heartbeat, blood pressure, and blood and urine tests all came out normal. I’m going to live!

But I also have gotten to feel the effects of aging.  My energy, though more mellow than before with my new good diet, winds down upon evening darkness as I read and doze off into the night.  My right knee has been kicking up from a disappearing cartilage, keeping me off the hiking trails and airport sprints for the past several months.  I sometimes walk around with a cane.  Until I had a heart attack and quit drinking alcohol two years ago, I could safely say I had led a risky life, one like my father’s.  He passed over after a period of intensive alcohol consumption followed by a fatal heart attack which surely would have been my fate too had I kept going as I had been. 

My beloved Boston Irish Catholic father was an intrepid romantic with high principles and high expectations for excellence, who won over the Wellesley girl, my mother, and pulled himself up by his bootstraps in the tradition of Horatio Alger.  On the other hand, my Midwestern wasp mother, not a risk-taker, lived a settled and sometimes boring life, for example time-logging her bowel movements.  When she turned 70, she told us, “You kids are going to have to come to me rather than I come to you.  I now want my creature comforts.”  By that age, my father had passed on whereas my mother got to live another 25 years, mostly as a perceptive observer of our interesting lives and the cultural scene.  My switching role models from Dad to Mom gave me a new lease on life.

Shifting my parent mentor from Dad to Mom in some ways feels odd.  I had taken some risks traveling the world, hiking, camping, having romantic and nonconforming escapades that defied conventional wisdom. But now my physical setting is being set up to be more nurturing, and alas is sometimes aloof from many of the exciting activities all around me.  I’m settling into a more comfortable way of being, one that supports my wanting to stick around the planet so I can still contribute to the unusual current-day global scene.

Much of this year for me is one of learning to adjust to the new realities of maintaining my body suit and also wanting to avoid the hospital.  Sometimes direct experiences like losing loved ones and facing physical death and aging seem to be necessary to awaken us to how precious life really is, and that this particular embodiment must come to an end sooner than we might think.

My heart attack was a wake-up call. This recent experience compels me ever more to see what I can contribute while I’m still here, really going for it in the face of the extraordinary global catastrophes that surround all of us.  I’m the wiser for it and grateful to still be around to play with this life.  Almost as soon as I got back home from the hospital, I prepared a presentation I was scheduled to give at the United Nations, one that starts with the sentence, “I’m making this presentation as if it were my last. I join the Earth and her abundant but dying life in an eleventh-hour appeal to stop the attack on all of us by human greed and aggression.”  My body and the body of nature were both crying out for a healing.

This year has marked my initiation into true elderhood.  I personally feel like I’m ending one period of my life and entering another, one in which the future is highly uncertain yet full of possible surprises.  For example, my daughter Erin and her husband Tom have just announced the potential adoption of an infant girl Madeline Sasha who weighed in at six pounds.  I’m most likely a grandfather!  This long-anticipated event showed me that new life can come in to replace the old and that everything is as it should be.  The world goes on in spite of all the chaos we are experiencing, and we just have to accept reality for what it is.  It reminds me that the role of an elder is to pass the baton to the young ones partly through the experience of grandparenthood.  In my own case, this is best expressed by creating a legacy of environmental activism, truth-seeking, and co-creating the beauty of Montesueños in harmony with nature.

Our immortality, I am learning more deeply, is far more elegant and magnificent than most of us realize.  Our physical passing is just that, only a passing and not the end.  We can feel the fear, the uncertainty about passing all around us.  Yet to live life at its fullest while we’re still here is the best we can do, whatever our thoughts about life after death turn out to be. My research on the near-death and after-death experience and our likely continuing consciousness is deepening, and the news about that is mostly positive.

Dealing with my health is a metaphor for dealing with the culture’s health.  Both need a whole lot of attention.  As 2010 comes to a close, we find ourselves both in grave crisis (the wars, the pollution, the injustice, the lack of attention to building a truly sustainable future) and unexpected opportunity (free energy research, peace and justice activism, the piercing of the veil of secrecy enshrouding our “leaders” through the Wikileaks revelations). Knowing that the emperor wears no clothes in itself reassures us that there has to be another way among infinite promising possibilities.

Now more than ever we need to connect the dots about what’s wrong and what we can do.  Those dots then can become waves of consciousness that penetrate all time and space and all sentience.  I’m now reading the excellent book Science and the Akashic Field by Ervin Lazslo.  He posits that there exists a field (akashic, zero-point, etheric, conscious, etc.) that penetrates and interconnects some material entities (e.g., organisms such as ourselves and ensembles of water and elementary particles).  Each of these material objects can access the unmanifest information field that connects all things everywhere, past, present and future.  A new science is being born.

Another exciting recent book I’m reading is The Story of Water by my colleague Alick Bartholemew.  The former publisher of Gateway Books in Bath, England, Alick’s new book is an opus magnum of information about the miraculous properties of the water that permeates our bodies and the planet.  We learn that water is not only a chemical compound to abuse and overuse, but has memory and healing qualities that respond to our intention and to its own natural flows, following the pioneering works of Victor Schauberger, William Tiller, Patrick Flanagan, Masaru Emoto and Rustrum Roy. This epic work picks up where the superb Russian documentary film Water: the Great Mystery leaves off, and sets the stage for preserving for all time the sanctity of this most life-enhancing substance known to humankind.

Another new learning experience for me has been to become aware of and to understand a model of human and cultural development called Spiral Dynamics.  Pioneered by Don Beck, Ken Wilber and others, this model well explains why we as a culture and as individuals have great difficulty grasping how to co-create a truly peaceful, just, and sustainable future for ourselves.  Most are trapped within a meme or worldview that doesn’t permit us to think outside the box for our solutions.

So as a culture, we seem to keep repeating the same old restricted “solutions” like market-driven carbon trading.  This limitation applies even to most of us scientists, environmentalists and political progressives who should know better, but who are mostly stuck in the traditional Green movement that doesn’t yet acknowledge the possibility of a clean breakthrough energy, water and waste solution revolution that would obviate the need for fossil and nuclear fuels.

Our Western cultural awareness is trapped within a manifested material world limited in space and time.  It’s the secrecy of knowing about our immortality and using the higher, interconnected dimensions that the global controllers are most wanting to keep hidden from us. It’s the Big Secret! And we have the subtle senses to perceive all that. This explains psychic and shamanistic healing, paranormal phenomena, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, telepathy, reincarnation, spirit communication, and near-death experience. While most folks don’t even know they have these abilities, awareness is accelerating.

Our progress at Montesueños during 2010 was substantial, both in construction, events, travel and publications.  A ninth bedroom and Meredith’s new studio and Gaudi-esque meditation tower are now complete. The studio now also doubles as a tenth bedroom, each with a private bathroom.  We have also expanded my office into a seminar room, built a bodega for storage, and expanded our lush tropical gardens and our large outdoor gathering area in a sylvan glade overlooking the village, valley and Mandango.

I’ve published two new essays “The Turquoise Revolution”, printed as the cover article for the September/October 2010 issue of Infinite Energy Magazine, and “The Technology Solution Revolution”, also presented as a video for a conference on 10-10-10 at the United Nations in New York.  The text will be published as a chapter in the forthcoming book Prometheus. In April, I traveled to the US to speak, do some media interviews and visit relatives and friends.  The second edition of my book  The Energy Solution Revolution is now available both in print and as an ebook.  In all, 2010 was a very active year for me.

Meanwhile, we here at Montesueños are planning an exciting, evolutionary 2011, beginning with a January workshop on consciousness in which our friends and colleagues Jay Schumacher and Caroline Willcock will be joining us in deepening our personal and collective realities. Only when we give ourselves permission to allow ourselves to do that can we begin to grok our own being and its part in the greater matrix of our reality. After this experiment, we will be looking at our next steps here as we evolve.  For example, my psychologist colleague Dr. Rich D’Amato and I are planning to teach a workshop on Spiral Dynamics sometime during 2011.  Meredith will hostess an art workshop here in late June/early July 2011. Keep checking the website for dates.

The new film Yasuni will premiere in February 2011 and promises to be well-received throughout the world as a compelling artistic creation for saving the rainforest. This real-life Avatar graphically shows the threat to one of the most biodiverse spots on Earth and its voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples. Directed by my friend Leonardo Wild, Yasuni should be a catalyst to implementing what I call the Ecuador Initiative, which suggests that breakthrough innovation in energy technology, agriculture, and restoration ecology could replace oil and minerals extraction and large monocultures in the precious habitats of the Amazon.  Next year promises to be an active year, sharpening these ideas in workshops here as well as forming alliances with indigenous and other groups and briefing the Quito government that truly sustainable practices could leave the rainforest alone while providing Ecuador with economic sovereignty.

The evolution of Montesueños includes occasional gatherings of special guests and discussions of new paradigms, cutting-edge science, artistic creativity, and environ-mental activism.  Sometimes we do spontaneous video shoots of these sessions.  We’re also beginning to video more and more happenings here and visualize that the right person(s) can come forward to assist us in information technology and video production and editing, someone who both aligns with the Montesueños vision and could apprentice with us in new science, environmentalism, and the arts.

We will soon be announcing the new prices for our ongoing B&B service here.  The 2011 accommodations prices will be slightly higher to reflect our substantially higher labor and overhead costs and recent improvements of the facilities.  Some  rooms will remain at the low prices we’ve maintained for more than two years now: $25 per person for two to a room and $35 per person for singles.  As always, stays at Montesueños include a private bath, breakfast, wireless Internet, free use of a modern kitchen, and views and ambience everywhere.  We hope to see you in ’11.

“Turquoise Revolution” featured in Infinite Energy magazine

October 11, 2010 Comments off

Brian’s article is in this month’s Infinite Energy magazine. 

Infinite Energy magazine
The June 20th blog article may be read below.  Or, if you prefer, is available for download here: