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Jungle Talk

Are we hard wired to run a sustainable planet? And are we accountable to the entire world that we live in? For me the Jungle is something made up of so many fascinating elements; a journey of intriguing possibilities. That kind of sounds like "life" on planet-johnson.

Can I travel with a presence that allows my footprint to add value to the world that you live in while "capturing moments" that tell a compelling story? Karma is a belief that all of your actions will have equal reprecussions, affecting you and I. This journey is a search for some balance, a little discovery and hopefully some visual poetry?

This blog will humbly attempt to see my world through the experience of TRAVEL, photos and sincere examination of an experential and visual karma. And I will find a way to incorporate some positive travel experience into that karma with the perspective of a Digital Camera. Photography and writing have become my "love affair" with life on planet-johnson. Hopefully I can share my passions for the best of this crazy world!

Please join in and welcome to the jungle! 

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Thursday
Apr052007

Television Revolution

   "Seize the time, Meribor. Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again" -- Picard

I think there`s something very special going  through the internet in the guise of tv. But it looks to me like a snapshot of life as it takes place and possibilities of communication that tv has never offered in any of its dreary past. Television is probably better entertainment than ever before (thanks HBO) but this might be the message that Macluhan never found? Try Current tv and thank Al Gore for a revolution beyond Utube. This episode really triggered my interest. Democracy in Dakar: Episode1
Now there might be hope for spreading the word! Dakar and so many others just might get our attention.

Sunday
Apr012007

Starving for Ethanol

   " There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed"    Gandhi

Sometimes what looks like a truth can become a mess of corporate interest and a pile of ecological shite! i.e. Ethanol seemed like a good idea for a minute or two but it may be more complicated than we need. (price of grain)

 Hungry people of the world depend on grain for their most basic needs and the price of this grain is being driven higher by the "biofuel" market. It does seem a little pathetic when supermarkets and service stations are competing for the grain supply and the prices are rising for people who have little else to eat.

And now countries like Indonesia are cutting palm trees down for the palm oil biofuel that is considerably worse for global warming than methane! (read Monbiot) Palm oil is actually 10 times worse for climate change than petroleum. Crazy but true as the deforestation of Indonesia runs rampant for a global warming build up. Its about the money in biofuel market and not the environment.

Can we find a balance between need and greed, or is it the bitter truth that we are going to starve the third world with a biofuel scam that is picking up steam every day.

 

 

Wednesday
Mar282007

Gods of War

    "The evil that men may do never expresses all that he is. Non-violence is a wager, not so much on the goodness of humanity, as on its infinite complexity"  Robert Inchausti

The war drums have been beating for a good while now as we face the usual rationalizations (endless media convulsions) to battle evil in this world as defined by Cheney and Bush. In Canada, this means that Prime Minister "Steve" will posture (that's kiss ass)  for George W. and dive into whatever chaos that the Cheney government will orchestrate. And they have been orchestrating this war with Iran for some time. These characters have the power of Gods from the perspective of many people of this world but act predictably as dangerous fools.

It won`t be too long before we get to view a "dog and pony show" much like they performed for the UN to justify war in Iraq. And it won`t matter if they convince anyone because the contrary "rule of pre-emption"  will apply. International law be damned, Cheney`s dick is pointing at more oil and his fantasy of Western civilization is about to screw the Democratic congress with the help of Iran`s idiot President. They intend to strike with or without UN sanction and Iran`s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rolls the dice for more "collateral damage". That`s doublespeak for murder. But neither Ahmadinejad or Bush will ever face a day in court because modern International law doesn`t apply to the " Gods of War". Even the Geneva Convention is a sideshow for these guys.

I suspect that Ahmadinejad is pretty pleased that the Americans have given him such a dizzy diversion. This President is in fear of the cultural revolution which dances daily in the lives of Iranian society, under the stink of this oppressive fundamentalist leadership. The oppressive noose has been tightening but Iran may still be ripe for an internal reform that could clobber Ahmadinejad`s ass before he helps start World War 3.

A clue to internal possibility comes from Iranian philosopher Daryush Shayegan  who spoke to Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders about possibilities in modern Persia. Shayegan is well placed to understand the history and modern dynamic of Iranian culture and he says the younger generation no longer believes in the revolution. "His message and that of his contemporaries is that its worth waiting for Ayatollahs to be replaced. And that the self immolation of Iran`s revolution will have a profound effect on the rest of the world". Yeah, if we massage the levers of a non violent revolution then it might dramatically impact the entire mid eastern world.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will"  Gandhi

But our Gods of War have the patience of crocs in a feeding frenzy and their eye is on their real prize. Oil!  Cheney, Bush and Steve Harper have shown their colors in Iraq and will accept 100,000+ dead civilians (see Lancet study)   before they consider Shayegan`s call for patience and wide reaching effective change. Citizens of North America need to send these guys a message before its too late? Before they cause a shitestorm of terrorism and worldwide pain with another needless war. War here means higher oil prices, world wide inflation and more hungry (i.e. starvation) people in too many corners of the planet.

These seem like good enough reasons to exhaust negotiation, sanctions and containment as best hope for Iranian cultural revolution. Help the Iranians with Gandhi`s indomitable will. Iran cannot pose a serious nuclear threat for many years (read this Gwynne Dyer column) so a medium of patience is allowed for a karmacheck. Dead civilians are a karmacheck and these Iranians may still have that chance to resolve their oppression with a little help from their friends. That could be me and you. But if Cheney gets his way and the bombs start flying then we might as well buy more EXXON/MOBIL stock and park our consciences up our sorry asses!

 

 

 

 

Monday
Mar262007

Sharkwater

   "Be the change you want to see in the world"   Gandhi

Ok picture this! A man free diving among schools of sharks as if he is one of them. He feeds them, he plays with them, he appreciates them and he is willing to risk his freedom for them. Shite! Are these the same animals that Benchley and Spielberg vilified in "Jaws" 30 years ago? Are these the same monsters that have stirred panic in the average TV watching man and woman ever since?

Watch "Sharkwater" just once and walk away wondering about the world we live in. I`m not kidding. This is fodder for reflection on the nature of the beast. And the beast is us, not the shark.

This documentary-movie, produced and directed by Rob Stewart, delivers karma on the high seas. It is a story of a man`s quest to help us understand the truth behind the media bound horrible myths of "the shark". And it brings truth and thrills in a really terrific piece of entertainment. This picture makes me want to swim with the sharks and change the world I live in!

Stewart and the charismatic renegade conservationist, Paul Watson of "The Sea Shepard Society",  lead a mission of mercy and justice into the shark rich waters of Guatemala, Costa Rica and Galapagos. They will battle to prevent the shark`s extinction.

Stewart is a myth buster who drags the viewer through our ignorance into the depth of his truth. He shows us that the shark`s real life timidity and function. They are scared to death of mankind`s sorry ass and Stewart teaches us that the shark is an essential part of the ocean`s ecology. Extinction of this 400 million year old creature may upset the balance of nature forever. If that doesn`t seem very important then watch the movie and I promise you`ll wonder why?

This film is seriously thrilling and gorgeous in high definition video. It is packed with pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt governments and attempted murder charges that cause Stewart`s "league of justice" to run for their freedom. Paul Watson has the stuff of heroes and this docu-movie uses his presence like Spielberg used "Robert Shaw" in Jaws. But this is the real deal. Stewart is the heart and Watson the guts of a film trying to lift us out of an ignorance that is just another example of how important it is to search for the truth behind our myths.

We need to pay attention to people like Stewart who, with a little help from friends like Watson, shows us what we don`t know about the world we live in. And what we need to do to overcome our fears. This movie is about us. Dive in and see for yourself!

 

Thursday
Mar222007

Damn the Truth:Hot Air for Sale

    "Live like you will die tomorrow and learn like you will live forever"    Gandhi

 Sometimes I think, in those lazy moments when I`m reading my favorite newspaper, that these writers might have an agenda? Get real! That can`t be. The Free Press is a cornerstone of modern Democracy! Then I feel like those 2 guys in the 3 stooges who are getting slapped all the time and come to my senses. If it`s the truth you`re looking for in your newspaper, it won`t be obvious and it will be crushed by the weight of dollars and shite. Big surprise? And so the story goes.

I`m moved to  rant on this obvious problem by a recent column "called Climate under fire", in the Canadian Press, by "Salim Mansur". Salim joins the select ranks of reporters who specialize in misleading the average reader on "Climate Science". The lament of his column is a British television production called the "Great Global Warming Swindle". It also notes a NY Times column by William Broad that is critical of Al Gore and how much money his film and book, "An Inconvenient Truth", are making? Salim, Broad and British Channel 4 focus on the theory that the "warming" is caused by changes in sun radiation, a tired theory that has been discredited by science long ago. The theory is based on study of a piece of the planet`s history, some 400 million years ago, that won`t offer any accurate indication of CO2 levels. The science of CO2 measurement is very accurate up to 1 million years back thanks to Antarctic core drilling (refer to this scientific article)

This means the past 1 to 2 million years gives us a pretty accurate vision of CO2 impact as Gore clarifies in his presentations. But journalists like Masur and Broad are lazy writers (or corrupt?) who ignore majority scientific opinion for sensationalist views. Shite sells unfortunately! This shite includes criticism of "An Inconvenient Truth" grossing over $46 million dollars. But what Salim Masur fails to mention is that Gore takes no profit from the film and puts the money back into educating the public about the dangers of Global warming. His motivations seem more obvious than the critical journalists.  More shite comes from the pen of William Broad which is aptly critiqued for it`s ardent odour by Real Climate, "Broad Irony" for it`s misrepresentation (that`s bull---t) regarding the 2006 Hurricane season in the Atlantic.  Considering Broad`s gaffes in NY Times this excerpt from Real Climate examines the untruths:

"Among the worst, is this one

Mr. Gore, who highlights the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and cites research suggesting that global warming will cause both storm frequency and deadliness to rise. Yet this past Atlantic season produced fewer hurricanes than forecasters predicted (five versus nine), and none that hit the United States.

This is dishonest in at least two different ways. First of all, Broad conveniently forgets to mention that the 2006 Hurricane season was accompanied by a moderate El Nino event. It is well known that El Nino events, such as the 2006 El Nino, tend to be associated with stronger westerly winds aloft in the tropical Atlantic, which is unfavorable for tropical cyclone development. The season nonetheless produced a greater than average number of named storms in the tropical Atlantic (10), 3 more than the typical El Nino year. But El Ninos come and go--more or less randomly--from year to year. The overall trend in named tropical Atlantic storms in recent decades is undeniably positive. We can have honest debates about the long-term data quality, but not if we start out by misrepresenting the data we do have, as Broad chooses to. Additionally, this is a clear misrepresentation of what Gore actually stated in his book. Gore indicated that it is primarily Hurricane intensities which scientists largely agree should be expected to increase in association with warming surface temperatures"

That brings to mind a piece from Gore`s book regarding scientific consensus. A University of California scientist, Dr. Naomi Oreskies, published this stat in Science magazine. " She published a massive study of every peer reviewed (making them scientifically credible) science journal article on global warming for the previous 10 years, and carefully analysed how many articles agreed or disagreed with the prevailing consensus view. They used a large random sample of 928 articles. The percentage of articles disagreeing with consensus, that man was contributing to global warming by increasing CO2 emissions, was 0.

Alongside the study of scientific journal articles a study was conducted on articles on global warming for the previous 14 years in NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times and Wall Street Journal". Guess what? Yeah, 53% of these articles expressed doubt as to the cause of global warming? Yeah, more surprises for devoted readers of our local shite papers. 

As for the British TV show, "the Global Warming Swindle", it is too easily discredited by George Monbiot (read this column) and further maligned by rebuttal of scientist Carl Wunsch   who claims he was misrepresented by producers of this example of sleazy tv. 

What I have here is a failure to trust the mainstream media for much more than celebrity gossip. Which is obviously riddled with bullshite and kernels of truth. So I read between the lines, avoid the front page, check page 4 and find every fourth column has something to offer. Token truth is still to be found. But the "truth is out there" and with a little effort we can appreciate that doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere over the next 30 years might prove to be a gamble that "scientific consensus" has warned us to avoid!! Hypothesis and probability! Makes sense to me.

 

Saturday
Mar172007

Homeless in Paradise

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time"  Dalai Lama

The Record, a Waterloo Ontario newspaper, reported on Feb.1 2007 that a prominent downtown property had been sold. It would just be another real estate deal except that this property had been destined to become subsidized housing for the cities homeless. The homeless plan fell through for lack of funding.

This is real confusing coming from a city that in a June 9, 2006 media release celebrated its placement, by The Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF), as one of the top 7 "intelligent communities" in the world. Sure this victory exemplifies development of a prosperous economy based on Broadband and Information Technology but the thing is their "prosperous economy"! As Mayor Herb Epp stated, "There is continuous job creation, and a continuous focus by municipal government and by all of the sectors on moving forward and on continually enhancing this intelligent community.”

Waterloo is a Canadian success story but they can`t find funding for the homeless. They join the party of too many Canadian cities that can`t (won`t?) find funding for poverty programs. And despite our $13 billion dollar federal budget surplus and money growing on trees from Vancouver to Alberta to Saskatchewan to Waterloo, we can`t find funding for basic shelter for the very poor? Maybe this rates attention with an election looming??

I search for a sign from media Canadiana and the "gods of political spin" for some "common sense social justice" agendas in party platforms. I`m such a dreamer but, just a minute, there`s blood pumping in this carcass after all.

 You mean the NDP and smiling Jack Layton? No, I sense he`s losing ground faster than a speeding bullet and that his nightmares are greener than Elizabeth May`s  (Green Party) web page. She seems to be leaving the NDP in her wake on environment but recently she`s talking poverty.

This Green Party is advocating a "Guaranteed Annual Income", a system in which all Canadians are entitled to a certain "floor income". A 20 year old idea that may have found some ground in today's politic. It might seem like more leftie radicalism except that some common sense Conservatives are coming on board. Former Conservative "cabinet minister" and financial guru, Garth Turner, is a believer!  In an interview with the Toronto Star January 17, "Turner said this is an idea that blurs party boundaries," with left-wing advocates arguing for it on fairness and compassion grounds, while right-wing politicians such as Turner see it in terms of efficiency and individual rights. This inspires a google search and I find that long time Conservative inner circle, class act, Senator Hugh Segal has been a recent advocate of "the Guaranteed Annual Income".

Segal says that 2 million people in rural Canada lack adequate shelter and "They don't have enough money for any kind of quality of life and there is no quality of opportunity''. He has since been rewarded for his many years of devotion to Conservatism by his boss George W. Harper. (that's Prime Minister Steve) as reported by the Canadian Press on Feb, 21, 2007. OTTAWA -- The Conservative government has turfed party luminary Hugh Segal from the helm of a high-profile Senate committee, sparking allegations from the Liberals that he was punished for speaking his mind on policy issues.

So, a dangerous notion, full of "karmotion" (its a bit of a theme here) is crossing the political lines in a timely manner. Elizabeth May leads with her heart but Turner and Segal know their numbers before they write any cheques. This is a long overdue plan that along with an investment in affordable housing could easily be accomplished within a balanced budget. Imagine, balanced budgets, environmental conservation incentives, floor incomes and continued prosperity for them that has. Shite. This must be paradise? No its just Canada and it`s real possibilities where nobody should go hungry for my capital gains tax cut or Quebec`s votes!!