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For a Future that Won’t Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising by Kristin Moe – YES! Magazine

“It is this thread that goes to the heart of our global ecological crisis. While indigenous cultures differ widely from one another, what they collectively present is an alternative relationshipto the earth, to its resources, and to each othera relationship based not on domination but on reciprocity. Any movement that seeks to create deep, lasting social changeto address not only climate change but endemic racism and social inequalitymust confront our colonial identity and, by extension, this broken relationship.” (excerpt from article below)

This paragraph is the heart of what we all need to know to co-create the new world, the “world that works for everyone”. Please read and share this article widely!

The global indigenous uprising is created by indigenous people, using indigenous knowledge, culture, history and current experiences but it is not just about indigenous people, or for indigenous people.

This uprising is for all living beings on planet Earth-the time has come to say NO MORE! to the colonized culture of destruction, violence, domination and hate, to say NO MORE! to the culture that denies the value of every living being in favor of greed and fear.

This truth applies to all of us, no matter what colour our skin or who our ancestors were. It is time for the people of Earth to join together and stand for the Earth and for ourselves and all living beings-and against the culture of greed and violence and the nightmare world it continually creates within us and around us. (ohnwentsya, 6-22-2013)

For a Future that Wont Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising

Idle No More is the latest incarnation of an age-old movement for life that doesn’t depend on infinite extraction and growth. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated groups from Canada to South America are exchanging resources and support like never before.

by Kristin Moe
posted May 23, 2013

Melina photo by Jiri Rezac

Melina Laboucan-Massimo stands next to logs from clearcuts at a proposed tar sands site north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. Photo by Jiri Rezac.

Theres a remote part of northern Alberta where the Lubicon Cree have lived, it is said, since time immemorial. The Cree called the vast, pine-covered region niyanan askiy, our land. When white settlers first carved up this country, they made treaties with most of its original inhabitantsbut for reasons unclear, the Lubicon Cree were left out. Two hundred years later, the Lubicons right to their traditional territory is still unrecognized. In the last four decades, industry has tapped the vast resource wealth that lies deep beneath the pines; today, 2,600 oil and gas wells stretch to the horizon. This is tar sands country.

In 2012 testimony before the U.S. Congress, Lubicon Cree organizer Melina Laboucan-Massimo, then 30, described witnessing the devastation of her familys ancestral land caused by one of the largest oil spills in Albertas history. What I saw was a landscape forever changed by oil that had consumed a vast stretch of the traditional territory where my family had hunted, trapped, and picked berries and medicines for generations.

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When were at home, we feel really isolated, says Laboucan-Massimo, who has spent her adult life defending her peoples land from an industry that has rendered it increasingly polluted and impoverished. The Lubicon are fighting a hard battle, but their storyof resource extraction, of poverty and isolation, and of enduring resistanceis one that echoes in indigenous communities around the world. Today, Laboucan-Massimo and others like her are vanguards of a network of indigenous movements that is increasingly global, relevantand powerful.

This power manifests in movements like Idle No More, which swept Canada last December and ignited a wave of solidarity on nearly every continent. Laboucan-Massimo was amazedand hopeful. Triggered initially by legislation that eroded treaty rights and removed protection for almost all of Canadas riversclearing the way for unprecedented fossil fuel extractionIdle No More drew thousands into the streets. In a curious blend of ancient and high-tech, images of indigenous protesters in traditional regalia popped up on news feeds all over the world.

A history of resistance

To outsiders, it might seem that Idle No More materialized spontaneously, that it sprang into being fully formed. It builds, however, on a long history of resistance to colonialism that began when Europeans first washed up on these shores. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated movements from Canada to South America are exchanging knowledge, resources, and support like never before.

“When you destroy the earth, you destroy yourself, says Melina Laboucan-Massimo. This is the common thread in indigenous people all over the world.

Idle No More is one of what Subcomandante Marcos, the masked prophet of the Mexican Zapatistas, called pockets of resistance, which are as numerous as the forms of resistance themselves. The Zapatistas are part of a wave of indigenous organizing that crested in South America in the 1990s, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of European conquestmost effectively in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico. Certain threads connect what might otherwise be isolated uprisings: Theyre largely nonviolent, structurally decentralized, they seek common cause with non-natives, and they are deeply, spiritually rooted in the land.

The connections among indigenous organizers have strengthened through both a shared colonial history and a shared threatnamely, the neoliberal economic policies of deregulation, privatization, and social spending cuts exemplified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization. Indigenous organizers see these agreements as nothing more than the old colonial scramble for wealth at the expense of the natives. In a 1997 piece in Le Monde Diplomatique, Marcos called neoliberalism the totalitarian extension of the logic of the finance markets to all aspects of life, resulting in the exclusion of all persons who are of no use to the new economy. Many indigenous leaders charge that the policies implemented through organizations like the World Bank and the IMF prioritize corporations over communities and further concentrate power in the hands of a few.

Uprising in Ecuador

The mid-1990s saw a massive expansion of such policiesand with it, an expansion of resistance, particularly in countries with significant indigenous populations. In 1990, CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, staged a massive, nonviolent levantamientoan uprisingflooding the streets of Quito, blocking roads and effectively shutting down the country. Entire families walked for days to reach the capital to demand land rights, fair prices for agrarian goods, and recognition of Ecuador as a plurinational state, made up of multiple, equally legitimate nations. In the end it forced renegotiation of policy and created unprecedented indigenous representation in government; many hailed CONAIEs success as a model for organizing everywhere.

CONAIEs slogan, Nothing just for Indians, invited participation from non-indigenous allies around larger questions of inequality and political representation, creating a political space that was big and inclusive enough for everyone. Dr. Maria Elena Garcia, who studies these movements at the University of Washington, says that non-indigenous support has been crucial for success across the board. In the case of CONAIE, she says, there came a tipping point when most Ecuadorians said, Enough. This organization is speaking for us.

Zapatistas photo by Tim Russo

Idle No More clearly exists in the Zapatista tradition, but it goes further in incorporating the language of climate justice. In December as many as 50,000 masked Mayan Zapatistas marched into cities across Chiapas. Differing from the 1994 armed indigenous uprising, this one was done in complete silence.

The Zapatista Army

Meanwhile, in Mexico, the Zapatista movement was busy building a different kind of revolution. On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army took its place on the international stage. It was day one of NAFTA, which Subcomandante Marcos called a death sentence to the indigenous ethnicities of Mexico. More than any other movement, they linked local issues of cultural marginalization, racism, and inequality to global economic systems and prophesied a new movement of resistance. The media-savvy revolutionaries used their most potent weaponwordsand the still-new Internet to advocate a new world built on diversity as the basis for ecological and political survival. Transnational from the beginning, the Zapatistas made common cause with pockets of resistance everywhere.

Then, a curious change occurred: for nearly 10 years following their initial insurgency, the Zapatistas maintained a self-imposed silence. The world heard little from Marcos, but the autonomous communities in Chiapas were very much alive. They had turned inward, building independent governments, schools, and clinics. As journalist and author Naomi Klein observed, These free spaces, born of reclaimed land, communal agriculture, resistance to privatization, will eventually create counter-powers to the state simply by existing as alternatives. Embodying, here and now, the society they seek to create is a powerful manifesto; for those who cared to listen, their silence spoke volumes.

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Victory in Bolivia

Most of these movements have used nonviolent tactics, including blockades, occupations of public space, and mass marchescombined with traditional political workto varying degrees of success. In Bolivia these tactics yielded an extraordinary outcome: the election of Evo Morales, in 2005, as Bolivias first indigenous head of state.

Five years later, Morales convened 30,000 international delegates for the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. A response to the repeated failure of international climate negotiations, the gathering was rooted in an indigenous worldview that recognized Mother Earth as a living being, entitled to her own inalienable rights.

The resulting declaration placed blame unequivocally on the capitalist system that has imposed on us a logic of competition, progress, and limitless growth. This unrestrained growth, the declaration says, transforms everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself. Significantly, the declaration also extended the analysis of colonialism to include climate changecalling for decolonization of the atmospherebut it rejected market-based solutions like carbon trading. Its a holistic analysis that links colonialism, climate change, and capital, a manifesto for what has come to be called climate justice.

Idle No More

Fast forward to December 2012, and two things happened: The Zapatistas staged simultaneous marches in five cities, marking a resurgence of their public activism. Anywhere from 10,00050,000 masked marchers filled the streets in complete silence. The march was timed to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendarand the beginning of a new, more hopeful eraand demonstrated the Zapatistas commitment to the indigenous cosmology of their ancestors.

That same month, a continent away, Idle No More emerged on the scene. While it began as a reaction to two specific bills in Parliament, it has gained strength and momentum in opposition to the network of proposed pipelines that will crisscross North America, pumping tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries and ports in Canada and the U.S. These pipelines will cross national, tribal, state, and ethnic boundaries and raise a multitude of issuesincluding water quality, land rights, and climate change. The campaign to stop their construction is already unifying natives and non-natives in unprecedented ways.

Dr. Garcia, whose own ancestors are indigenous, believes that indigenous movements offer something vital: hope, and what she calls the importance of the imaginary. Of imagining a different worldimagining a different way of being in the world.

Were a land-based people, but it goes further than that. Its a worldview. When you destroy the earth, you destroy yourself, says Melina Laboucan-Massimo. This is the common thread in indigenous people all over the world.

Take What You Need
Don’t Let the Apocalypse Get You Down

The climate crisis is spinning out of control, and the gap between the rich and poor continues grow unabated. Its time to let the radical uncertainty of this moment enlarge our sense of possibility.

It is this thread that goes to the heart of our global ecological crisis. While indigenous cultures differ widely from one another, what they collectively present is an alternative relationshipto the earth, to its resources, and to each othera relationship based not on domination but on reciprocity. Any movement that seeks to create deep, lasting social changeto address not only climate change but endemic racism and social inequalitymust confront our colonial identity and, by extension, this broken relationship.

Laboucan-Massimo has spent a great deal of time abroad, studying indigenous movements from Latin America to New Zealand and Australia, feeling the full weight of their shared history under colonialism. These days, though, shes more likely to be on the road, educating, organizing, and building solidarity among natives and non-natives. It was understanding the connections between movements, she says, that gave her all the more fervor to come back and continue to do the work here.

Recently, she traveled from Alberta to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where she and her elders stood at the forefront of the largest climate change rally in history. And shell keep organizing, armed with a smartphone, supported by a growing network of allies from Idle No More and beyond, connected in every possible way to the rest of the world.


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Click Here to Kick Glenn Beck Off the Air: Web Activism’s Big Wins–and What to Do Next by Mark Engler and Paul Engl er – YES! Magazine

Click Here to Kick Glenn Beck Off the Air: Web Activism’s Big Wins–and What to Do Next

It was online campaigning that got Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck’s shows canceled. But the real power of Internet activism is what happens after we step away from the screen.

by Mark Engler, Paul Engler
posted Jun 21, 2013

Clicktivism Graphic

Could Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck have been thrown off the air without the Internet? It is a critical question for anyone who wants to know whether the Web will stoke or dampen campaigns of nonviolent activism in the 21st century.

Glenn Beck was dumped by Fox News in the summer of 2011, two years after he charged that President Obama held a deep-seated hatred for white people. The remark prompted the group ColorofChange.org to wage a boycott, collecting more than 285,000 petition signatures and transmitting thousands of letters of concern to brand-sensitive advertisers, more than 300 of which abandoned Beck’s show.

The removal from CNN of Lou Dobbs, a leading spokesperson for the anti-immigration movement, was even swifter and more decisive. An online coalition lead by Presente.org launched the campaign BastaDobbs, warning CNN that it would alienate Latino viewers if it continued backing the anchor. Using social media, Presente.org distributed a video composed of clips in which Dobbs claimed Latinos were dangerous, prone to criminality, and even carriers of leprosy. It was viewed more than 155,000 times in English and Spanish. Activists also gathered in excess of 100,000 online signatures and, at the end of their campaign, virtually took over CNN’s community journalism site, iReport, with a digital sit-in that could post 400 petitioner comments there every daynearly as much content as the site received daily from its regular users. On November 11, 2009, just two months after the pressure began to build, Dobbs announced an abrupt departure from CNN.

The drives to oust Beck and Dobbs illustrate how powerful Internet activism can be. But does this mean the Web can usher in the next revolution, as its most enthusiastic proponents claim? How much of the potential attributed to online organizing is real, and how much is hype?

For almost as long as the Web has existed, boosters have said that it would redefine the process of creating social change. From Iran to Egypt to Wall Street, each new outbreak of mass resistance is breathlessly labeled a Twitter Revolution, a Facebook Uprising, or an example of Revolt 2.0.

These notions have drawn criticism, however. Belarusian author Evgeny Morozov has persistently pointed to the flaws in techno-utopian thinking, warning that dictatorships use online social networks to monitor dissidents.

New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell is another prominent naysayer. In a hotly debated 2010 article, he argued that the high-risk activism that truly alters the status quosuch as the daring lunch-counter sit-ins of civil rights erarequires strong bonds of trust among its participants. In contrast, he contended, social media creates networks of weak ties that pose little threat to those in power.

Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice, Gladwell wrote.

Critics such as Morozov and Gladwell are right to recognize the importance of action facilitated by strong interpersonal relationships. People who engage in strategic nonviolence allow their everyday lives to be disruptedcommitting acts that often require significant risk and entail real personal costs. They risk embarrassment by speaking out in a public meeting to confront an exploitative corporate executive, or their jobs by joining striking coworkers on a picket line. They risk arrest by chaining themselves to a bulldozer, or physical abuse by protesting in a public plaza in the presence of riot police who are too often willing to use force even on peaceful crowds.

Clicktivism is the opposite of that. It is online action you can take on your laptop without getting up from the comfiest chair in your living room. Doubts about its effectiveness appeal to our common experience: How many of us have signed an email petition and then wondered, Is this doing anything? Or, Is this even being delivered?

I Had No Idea You Were Here

But the Internet isn’t a replacement for the lunch-counter sit-in, say activists immersed in the world of online campaigning. It is a new tool that supplements traditional face-to-face interactions.
The Web provides a way to reach people who lack other avenues for getting involved. We have to be aware that there are a large number of people who are not otherwise civically engaged [but] who spend hours every day at a computer, says Jodeen Olgun-Tayler, field director for Caring Across Generations.

Moreover, because of the Web, activists no longer depend on the mainstream media to document both acts of protest and oppression. It used to be that police could attack a totally nonviolent crowd and say, ‘Oh, they attacked us first,’ explains Stephen Zunes, a professor at the University of San Franciso and an expert on nonviolent movements. If everybody has a cell-phone camera that shows what really happened, that’s a significant change. And now, even in authoritarian countries, you have technologies so that you can upload that almost instantly.

Nor are online and offline strategies mutually exclusive. MoveOn, while best known for its online petition drives, has long experimented with in-person actioncalling together candlelight vigils, holding house meetings, and forming community councils. In 2003, such activity took place in the context of organizing against the impending war in Iraq, an issue that was also motivating mass demonstrations and widespread acts of civil disobedience.

There were people in smaller communities who, in many cases, were the only person they knew who opposed the war, says Noah T. Winer, who previously served as a campaign director at MoveOn and now consults with social change groups about online activism. The only way they found people they could organize with was that they signed a petition online and then were invited to attend an event that someone in their town was actually organizing. They would find someone who might live two blocks from them and who felt the same way about the war, and they’d say, ‘I had no idea you were here.’

It’s funny when people characterize online organizing as armchair activism for couch potatoes, Winer adds. Because there are so many people who would have just been sitting in their living rooms yelling at their TVs about the war. Instead, they found places to go and take action.

A Ladder of Engagement

Denunciations of clicktivism miss how the movement has critiqued itself. Online campaigners increasingly focus on moving people up the rungs of what organizers call the ladder of engagementfrom a first contact on email or Facebook to attending a protest, to volunteering to organize an event, to eventually becoming an activist leader.

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During the Lou Dobbs boycott, traditional organizing supplemented online activism. Presente.org was relatively small when it launched BastaDobbs, with an online membership base of around 25,000. But more than 30 partner organizationsimmigrant rights groups such as CASA de Maryland and the Florida Immigrant Coalitionbrought credibility to the effort and sent their members to in-person events, such as protests at advance screenings of CNN’s Latino in America.

When it launched, the campaign had a real grounding, thanks to the offline partners, says Ian Inaba of the Citizen Engagement Lab. That allowed the press to pick it up right away. At the same time, he contends, It wouldn’t have been able to reach the scale that it did so quickly and effectively if it wasn’t leveraging the Internet.

The combination of online and offline organizing, he says, really brought the power of the community to bear.


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Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Over 500 Killed in India’s Monsoon Floods | Weather Underground

Over 500 Killed in India’s Monsoon Floods

By Dr. Jeff Masters

Published: 4:25 PM GMT on June 21, 2013
Earth’s deadliest natural disaster so far in 2013 is the deadly flooding in India’s Himalayan Uttarakhand region, where torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 556 people, with hundreds more feared dead. At least 5,000 people are missing. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Uttarakhand received more than three times (329%) of its normal June rainfall from June 1 – 21, and rainfall was 847% of normal during the week June 13 – 19. Satellite estimates indicate that more than 20″ (508 mm) or rain fell in a 7-day period from June 11 – 17 over some regions of Uttarakhand, which lies just to the west of Nepal in the Himalayas. Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, received 14.57″ (370 mm) of rain in 24 hours June 16 – 17. This was the highest 24-hour rainfall in city history, according to an official from the India Meteorological Department. Dr. Dave Petley’s Landslide Blog details that the torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that hit Uttarakhand’s Hindu shrine in Kedarnath, which lies just a short distance from the snout of two mountain glaciers. The shrine is an important pilgrimage destination this time of year, and was packed with visitors celebrating the char-dham yatra: a pilgrimage to the four holy sites of Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Badrinath. Apparently, heavy rainfall triggered a collapse event on the mountain above Kedarnath, which turned into a debris flow downstream that struck the town. The main temple was heavily damaged, and numerous buildings in the town were demolished. It was Earth’s deadliest landslide since the August 2010 Zhouqu landslide in China.

According to Aon Benfield’s May Catastrophe Report, Earth’s deadliest natural disasters of 2013 so far:

Winter weather, India, Banglaadesh, Nepal, 1/1 – 1/20, 329 deaths
Earthquake, China, 4/20, 196 deaths
Flooding, Southern Africa, 1/10 – 2/28, 175 deaths
Flooding, Argentina, 4/2 – 4/4, 70 deaths
Flooding, Kenya, 3/10 – 4/30, 66 deaths

india_flood1.jpg
Figure 1. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) arrive to rescue stranded Sikh devotees from Hemkunt Sahib Gurudwara, a religious Sikh temple, to a safe place in Chamoli district, in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, India, Monday, June 17, 2013. AP photo.

Uttarakhand_precip.jpg
Figure 2. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the 7-day period June 11 – 17, 2013, from NASA’s TRMM satellite exceeded 20 inches (508 mm) over portions of India’s Uttarakhand province, leading to catastrophic floods. Image credit: NASA.

A record early arrival of the monsoon
The June 2013 monsoon rains in Uttarakhand were highly unusual, as the monsoon came to the region two weeks earlier than normal. The monsoon started in South India near the normal June 1 arrival date, but then advanced across India in unusually rapid fashion, arriving in Pakistan along the western border of India on June 16, a full month earlier than normal. This was the fastest progression of the monsoon on record. The previous record for fastest monsoon progression occurred in 1961, when all of India was under monsoon conditions by June 21. Reliable monsoon records go back to 1961, and are patchy before then. Fortunately, no more heavy rain is expected in Uttarakhand over the next few days, as the monsoon will be active only in eastern India. Heavy rains are expected again in the region beginning on June 24. Wunderblogger Lee Grenci’s post, Summer Monsoon Advances Rapidly across India: Massive Flooding Ensues, has more detail on the meteorology of this year’s monsoon. There is criticism from some that the devastating floods were not entirely a natural disaster–human-caused deforestation, dam building, and mining may have contributed. “Large-scale construction of dams and absence of environmental regulations has led to the floods,” said Sunita Narian, director general of Delhi based advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

(please follow link at bottom to Jeff Master’s blog to see this image-unable to copy image)
Figure 3. The summer monsoon arrived in southwest India right on schedule (June 1) in South India, but it spread northward much faster than usual, reaching Pakistan a full month earlier than normal. Solid green contours indicate the progress of the 2013 summer monsoon (each contour is labeled with a date). You can compare this year’s rapid advance to a “normal” progression, which is represented by the dashed, red contours (also labeled with dates).

Monsoons in India: a primer
Disastrous monsoon floods are common in India and surrounding nations, and 60,000 people–an average of 500 people per year–died in India due to monsoon floods between 1900 – 2012, according to EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database. EM-DAT lists sixteen flood disasters which killed 1,000 or more people in India since records began in 1950. Here are the number of people killed in these events, along with the month and year of occurrence and locales affected:

4892, Jul 1968, Rajasthan, Gujara
3800, Jul 1978, North, Northeast
2001, May – Oct, 1994, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
2000, Jul 1961, North
1811, Aug 1998, Assam, Arunachal, Bihar
1600, Aug 1980, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar
1591, Jul 28, 1989, Maharashtra, Andhra Prade
1479, Sep 1995, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab
1442, Aug 1997, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal
1200, Jul 24 – Aug 5, 2005 Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh
1200, Aug 1987, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal
1103, Jul 3 – Sep 22, 2007, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh
1063, Jun 11 – Jul 21, 2008 West Bengal, Orissa
1023, Jun 1971, North
1000, Sep 22 – OCt 9, 1988, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh
1000, Oct 1961

The monsoon occurs in summer, when the sun warms up land areas more strongly than ocean areas. This happens because wind and ocean turbulence mix the ocean’s absorbed heat into a “mixed layer” approximately 50 meters deep, whereas on land, the sun’s heat penetrates at a slow rate to a limited depth. Furthermore, due to its molecular properties, water has the ability to absorb more heat than the solid materials that make up land. As a result of this summertime differential heating of land and ocean, a low pressure region featuring rising air develops over land areas. Moisture-laden ocean winds blow towards the low pressure region and are drawn upwards once over land. The rising air expands and cools, condensing its moisture into some of the heaviest rains on Earth–the monsoon. Monsoons operate via the same principle as the familiar summer afternoon sea breeze, but on a grand scale. Each summer, monsoons affect every continent on Earth except Antarctica, and are responsible for life-giving rains that sustain the lives of billions of people. In India, home for over 1.1 billion people, the monsoon provides 80% of the annual rainfall. The most deadly flooding events usually come from monsoon depressions (also known as monsoon lows.) A monsoon depression is similar to (but larger than) a tropical depression. Both are spinning storms hundreds of kilometers in diameter with sustained winds of 50 – 55 kph (30 – 35 mph), nearly calm winds at their center, and generate very heavy rains. Typically, 6 – 7 monsoon depressions form each summer over the Bay of Bengal and track westwards across India.

The future of monsoons in India
A warming climate loads the dice in favor of heavier extreme precipitation events. This occurs because more water vapor can evaporate into a warmer atmosphere, increasing the chances of record heavy downpours. In a study published in Science in 2006, Goswami et al. found that the level of heavy rainfall activity in the monsoon over India had more than doubled in the 50 years since the 1950s, leading to an increased disaster potential from heavy flooding. Moderate and weak rain events decreased during those 50 years, leaving the total amount of rain deposited by the monsoon roughly constant. The authors commented, “These findings are in tune with model projections and some observations that indicate an increase in heavy rain events and a decrease in weak events under global warming scenarios.” We should expect to see an increased number of disastrous monsoon floods in coming decades if the climate continues to warm as expected. Since the population continues to increase at a rapid rate in the region, death tolls from monsoon flooding disasters are likely to climb dramatically in coming decades. However, my greater concern for India is drought. The monsoon rains often fail during El Niño years, and more than 4.2 million people died in India due to droughts between 1900 – 2012. Up until the late 1960s, it was common for the failure of the monsoon rains to kill millions of people in India. The drought of 1965 – 1967 killed at least 1.5 million people. However, since the Green Revolution of the late 1960s–a government initiative to improve food self-sufficiency using new technology and high-yield grains–failure of the monsoon rains has not led to mass starvation in India. It is uncertain whether of not the Green Revolution can keep up with India’s booming population, and the potential that climate change might bring more severe droughts. Climate models show a wide range of possibilities for the future of the Indian monsoon, and it is unclear at present what the future might hold. However, the fact that one of the worst droughts in India’s history occurred in 2009 shows that serious droughts have to be a major concern for the future. The five worst Indian monsoons along with the rainfall deficits for the nation:

1) 1877, -33%
2) 1899, -29%
3) 1918, -25%
4) 1972, -24%
5) 2009, -22%

References
Goswami, et al., 2006, ” Increasing Trend of Extreme Rain Events Over India in a Warming Environment”, Science, 1 December 2006:Vol. 314. no. 5804, pp. 1442 – 1445 DOI: 10.1126/science.1132027

Wunderground’s climate change blogger Dr. Ricky Rood wrote a nice 3-part series about the challenges India faces due to climate change after he completed a 2009 trip there.

(read the rest of this article, with all images and links intact here-

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html )


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The NSA’s Spying Program: What’s at Stake for the Climate Movement? by James Trimarco – YES! Magazine

The NSAs Spying Program: Whats at Stake for the Climate Movement?

Programs such as Prism could be used to hamper the social movements we need to tackle the biggest problems of our time.

by James Trimarco

posted Jun 17, 2013

Crowd with blank faces.

Photo by Eric Anestad.

The revelation that the National Security Agency gathers information about our phone and Internet use has been frightening, if not exactly surprising. Whats even scarier are the implications the program has for positive social change in the future.

In this time of climactic and economic peril, we need open spaces in which social movements are free to develop in a democratic fashion.

We live in a time when issues like climate change, runaway income inequality, and spiraling health care costs threaten our chance at a decent future. While individuals can help in important ways through local projects, only a nationalor even globalsocial movement can generate change at the scale needed to address these issues.

Its in this context that the deeper problem with the N.S.A.s data dragnet appears. According to stories in the Washington Post and The Guardian, the agency’s Prism program automatically gathers and stores data about many types of Internet use. The PowerPoint slides leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden mentions email, videos, photos, and logins under the heading What You Will Receive in Collection. Another slide mentions collection directly from the servers of companies like Google, Facebook, and Skype. (If you’re wondering what that phrase really means, see this ongoing debate between The Guardians Glenn Greenwald and The Nations Rick Perlstein.)

And then theres the matter of phone records. While California Senator Dianne Feinstein brushed off the programs critics by assuring us that Prism doesnt store the content of phone calls but only metadatathings like which numbers you dialed and how long the call lastedarticles at The Guardian and Washington Post show how clever spies can easily use metadata to figure out details such as your sexual orientation, illnesses you suffer from, and employment status.

In other words, if Uncle Sam doesnt know what color underwear youre wearing, he can probably figure it out by looking at your metadata. And, the history of social movements in the United States suggests thatno matter how well-intentioned and nonviolent the next big movement might bethe government is likely to use programs like Prism to stand in its way.

Consider some of the ways the government has used surveillance to disrupt social movements in recent history:

The Civil Rights Movement. Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI operated the Counterintelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, intended to address J. Edgar Hoovers suspicion of Communist influence in a wide range of groupsthe program interfered with organizations ranging from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to the American Indian Movement to the Black Panthers.

Understand that COINTELPRO was not just surveillance, it was active disruption, journalist Danny Schechter told NPR. It was putting agents into the movement to incite rivalries to try to get people fighting against each other and not trusting each other.

The FBI also followed Martin Luther King Jr. everywhere he went, especially later in the 60s when he began to actively oppose the Vietnam War. Agents bugged Kings office and home and filed tens of thousands of memos on him, according to a CNN story from 2008. According to those memos, one FBI meeting included an analysis aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader.

Movements for Iraq and Palestine. In 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Defense Department records, which revealed widespread monitoring of peace activists both before and during the Iraq War. They found that reports were filed on at least 186 antiwar protests, including ones put together by the Quaker organization the American Friends Service Committee, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, and the Catholic Worker Movement.

In this time of climactic and economic peril, we need open spaces in which social movements can develop in a democratic fashion.

In some cases, again, surveillance was intertwined with active disruption. In 2008, a woman named Karen Sullivan joined the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee in Minneapolis, according to The Progressive, and helped to organize protests against the Republican National Convention as well as the groups solidarity trip to the Palestinian territories. Upon arriving in Israel, group members were arrested by Israeli officials who had been tipped off about the trip by Sullivan, an FBI agent.

Occupy Wall Street. Heavily redacted documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in December 2012 show widespread spying on the Occupy Movement by the Department of Homeland Security and by the FBI. The documents reveal that FBI agents discussed Occupy at the November 2011 meeting of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, even though agents themselves acknowledged that organizers did not condone the use of violence during their events.

Once again, surveillance of Occupy occasionally verged into outright disruption. A police officer infiltrated an attempted occupation of a Citibank branch during the heyday of Zuccotti Park, the Village Voice reported, posing as a protester and then arresting participants once the action had begun. It was a bit startling how inside their information was, Occupier Chris Garrett told the Voice.

The wrong climate for peoples movements

Movements in the United States have long been subjected to intertwining practices of surveillance and infiltration at the hands of the government. Yet Prism actually goes beyond any of these earlier cases because, as Moxie Marlinspike at Wired has pointed out, it collects information by default, creating a database that is ready for agents to look through as soon as they become interested in a certain person or group.

History shows why those who work for a more just and sustainable world should demand an end to Prism and programs like it. The United States government tends to regard change-makers and social-movement organizers as inherently dangerous and as somehow similar to terrorists. The depth of ones dedication to the principles of nonviolence makes no difference to them, as the campaign waged against Dr. King illustrates. This is especially worrying in the context of recent statements by military officials suggesting that they expect an increased focus on domestic targets in the future, as Nafeez Ahmed has reported.

In this time of climactic and economic peril, we need open spaces in which social movements can develop in a democratic fashionespecially on the Internet, where the speed and ease of communication encourages the proliferation of new projects.

The NSAs Prism program takes us in the opposite direction. Now that its been exposed, Congress and the American people should call for an end to it.


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The manuscript of survival – part 327 by Aisha North

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As you all have noticed, the reverberations from yesterdays show of strength are still pulsing through you, and it will contiune to do so for quite a while yet. These are powerful energies of change dear ones, and as such, much will be pushed up in their wake. We do not necessarily refer to personal lessons this time, although they will still surface in those of you where it is deemed as necessary, but what we refer to, will be more noticeable in the outside world.

Again, mankind have been ingrained with a deep fear of change in many ways, and as such, these changes will instill fear in many that have yet to see the benefits from such a change. In other words, things will be pushed out by the light and into the light, and they will be hard to ignore, even by those in power. So expect this to be a summer with much noise in many ways, but also know that you will hear much jubilation mixed in between the choruses of anger and frustration that will continue to erupt.

For it is indeed time for change on so many levels now, and this time, the tide of change cannot be stopped, no matter how much fear those in charge of keeping up status quo will try to instill in those that surround them. For they will indeed find that the fear they have trusted as their ally is no longer the same powerful friend it used to be. Rather, it will turn out to be a shadow of its former self, and as such, no match for the light that is starting to suffuse so many of your fellow men and women all over the globe. So watch in amazement as one by one they will shake off their old companion, the fear, and start to embrace their own powers in so many ways. This will be a summer of discontent, but it will turn out to be the summer that will begin to show you all just how much power the populace has within. And as you have watched yourselves grow immensely these last few weeks, you will start to see the same things happen in people all around you. For you have marked a path for them to follow, and we think you will all be astounded by the number of people already starting to follow in your wake.

So again we must thank you all for the work that you do, and now, you will all start to get many, many confirmations of the necessity of being a pathfinder. For you will all rejoice in the knowledge that without you, the pioneers, there would be no marked trails for the multitude that suddenly find a strong urge to break out from the old confines and seek their fortunes in a world less restricted than the old one. For the fear is flagging, and the light is growing stronger, and so, the match has been declared as well and truly decided. For now, you will all feel the heightened rush of excitement as you look around you and see the prison walls collapse in place after place. For the truth will break free from these old walls, and the truth will set everyone free with it. So expect much noise, as we said, but expect to hear how the anger will subside into shouts of elation as one by one, your fellow men will start to see the same truth as you.

http://aishanorth.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/the-manuscript-of-survival-part-327/


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The Oracle Report Saturday, June 22 – Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday: Gibbous Moon Phase – Moon in Sagittarius Sunday: Full Moon Phase- Moon in Capricorn

Ruling Mahavidya: Bagalamukhi

Like the giraffe, this weekend we are gifted with the ability to see far ahead. Events foreshadow the future. We are taking the high road in all things, especially things that involve three’s (as in three people). Most of the time we are focused on the present moment (“the point of power is in the present moment”-Seth), but this weekend we are able to project things out. This weekend’s super Full Moon (supermoon) adds to the power. With the addition of the Sun conjunct the Black Moon and Friday’s solstice, we have all that is needed to aim ourselves toward what is highest and best for us. We can cast a line in to the future and follow it. Any personal activity or ritual undertaken this weekend is heavily supported, so take advantage of the opportunity to visualize your future. What do you want to cast out there?

http://oraclereport.com/