Saturday, June 28, 2008

Earth Changes: Powerful earthquake hits Indian Ocean

NEW DELHI -- An earthquake of 6.7 magnitude has struck the Andaman Islands of India's east coast at 1140 GMT on Friday, Indian Meteorological Department said.
The epicenter, at 11.031 degrees north latitude and 91.906 degrees east latitude, is 115 kilometers southwest of Port Blair in Indian's Andaman Islands and 975 kilometers southwest of Thailand's capital Bangkok, US Geological Survey said.
No tsunami alert has been issued and there is no immediate reports of casaulties.
A powerful quake in the region in December 2004 triggered tsunami in the Indian Ocean, killing more than 200,000 people.

Volcanoes erupting beneath Arctic ice

Seafloor unexpectedly active, but scientists see no connection to ice loss

New evidence deep beneath the Arctic ice suggests that a series of underwater volcanoes have erupted in violent explosions in the past decade.
Hidden 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) beneath the Arctic surface, the volcanoes can range up to more than a mile (2 kilometers) in diameter and a few hundred yards (meters) tall. They formed along the Gakkel Ridge, a lengthy crack in the ocean crust where two rocky plates are spreading apart, pulling new melted rock to the surface.

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Garden Is a Seedbed for Green Cosmetics

"But WALA is based on a school of early 20th-century European philosophy known as anthroposophy. Developed by the Austrian theorist Rudolf Steiner, the philosophy is predicated on the existence of a spiritual world that can be accessed by the human intellect.
Mr. Steiner’s thinking was also influential in more down-to-earth matters. He championed biodynamic agriculture, a rigorous form of organic farming that shuns pesticides and uses no fertilizers that were not already present in the garden."

New York Times, by Mark Landler

ECKWĂ„LDEN, Germany — You know you are not in an ordinary garden when a man in dirt-covered trousers, tending witch-hazel plants, describes his work in words that could come from Nietzsche.
“It demands a higher level of consciousness and a force of will to garden at this level,” said Joscha Huter, 40, who cultivates the plants and flowers used to make the popular, expensive line of German natural cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka. “There’s a point where gardening becomes an art.”
There’s also a point where it becomes a crackerjack business: this rarefied garden in a southern German valley is the seedbed for an environmental marketing phenomenon that has captivated Hollywood.

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Creating the Next Society: Your Revolutionary Ideas Needed Now

"The Next Society will soon arrive, and it is up to us to decide what to make of it. (And get ready for a wild ride as we witness the historical collapse of the American Empire...)"

by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) It's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that the American Empire, as currently configured and operated, is simply not sustainable. Financial collapse is inevitable (and accelerating, it seems), and even mainstream America can no longer deny the obvious signs that things have gone terribly wrong: Skyrocketing fuel prices, unprecedented inflation in food prices, rampant epidemics of preventable degenerative disease, plummeting real estate prices, an increasingly-worthless national currency, disastrous war failures, rampant dishonesty in Washington, and accelerating climate changes that are causing flooding, crop failures, droughts and worse. It is becoming increasingly difficult for even the Pollyannas of the world to argue that the United States of America has a bright future. However, there's good news in all this. Really. What's the good news? Following the collapse of the American Empire, there will be a rare window of opportunity for radical reform where progressive, pioneering people like NaturalNews readers can play a significant role in creating what I call The Next Society.
What is The Next Society? It's the one that replaces the United States of America after the failure of this current system. It happens all the time through world history, of course: Failed attempts at living in community are replaced by new attempts. Democracy was one such attempt, and I still think Democracy could work. Too bad we don't one operating in the United States today. Instead, we only have the illusion of Democracy that's controlled by hacked voting machines, a corrupt media, and a corporate-controlled government agenda that, at every step, works against the interests of the People.

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Floods may push corn inventories to historical low

USDA to report acreage; analysts warn of $10 corn and possible supply crisis

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Recent Midwest flooding may have damaged millions of acres of corn crops, analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to say in its crop acreage report slated for release Monday.
The loss of acreage could slash U.S. corn production and push the 2009 season's year-end stocks to the lowest level since just after World War II, analysts said. And the real damage is likely to be even worse than what Monday's 8:30 a.m. EDT report will show, as it's still too early to evaluate the full impact of the flooding.
"The report is already obsolete," said Elaine Kub, a grains analyst at commodities-information provider DTN. Many acres could be abandoned at a later date and the acreage situation will be worse than the report sounds, she said.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Report: Economy vulnerable to increased climate change

The first report to assess observed and projected changes in weather and climate extremes for the U.S. was released Thursday by the government's Climate Change Science Program.
According to the report, significant changes in extreme weather events have been observed throughout the U.S., including unusually hot days and nights, fewer unusually cold days and nights, fewer frost days and more frequent and intense heavy downpours.
"The costs of unmitigated climate change -- whether counted in dollars or human well-being -- are too great to ignore. We must start addressing this problem with the seriousness and urgency it warrants and move swiftly to reduce emissions and develop and implement preparedness measures," said Richard Moss, vice president for climate change at World Wildlife Fund in D.C.
In response to severe flooding in the Midwest, President Bush is asking Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency aid -- roughly the entire annual federal budget for climate change research programs.

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Read the final report: Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate

Sustaining Arizona

Shaun McKinnon, The Arizona Republic

It's changing the way people live. And it's happening now, all across Arizona. Sustainability is a way of using earth's resources today in a way that protects them for the next genera-tion.The movement is a movement of people, not governments, not authorities, though officials are starting to catch on, too. The people are doing things that use resources — building homes and businesses — while thinking about preserving those resources for the future.This week, The Arizona Republic tells the stories of sustainability. This is how Arizonans are helping keep the air clean, keep the water flowing, keep the electricity on, keep the environment healthy for tomorrow. This is a tour of the state — from a power plant in Snowflake to a tour company in Sedona, from a rooftop garden in Scottsdale to a ranch in Apache Junction. This is also the story of a movement. This is how people everywhere are sustaining Arizona.

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go to: Global Institute of Sustainability

Reiki as consciousness

From Ode Magazine
The word 'energy' is bandied about so much these days. And it's highly relevant as it underlies life. It's important to also understand that there are different kinds of energy. Metabolic energy is what we use to fuel the physical body. There's psychic, emotional and mental energy. Then there's healing energy.
Even if we were to understand Reiki purely on energetic terms, the distinction still needs to be made that Reiki is spiritual energy, or rather a way to tap into it. What might that be? It's the all-encompassing, overarching common denominator.
Energy is undeniable and there is an energetic manifestation of Reiki. Before that aspect can be experienced and effective, however, a subtler causal level acts as a backdrop.
This backdrop is nondual consciousness. Nothing has separated or differentiated from it yet. It is One and all-pervading. This consciousness has no distinctions of subject/object, mind/matter, words/concepts, or space/time.

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Thunderstorms spark more than 75 wildfires in Northern California

"Thunderstorms sparked as many as 75 wildfires in a wilderness area in far Northern California on Saturday as officials farther south got close to containing a blaze that destroyed several homes and forced thousands to evacuate."

Storms overnight Friday were responsible for the large number of fires in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, near Redding. Those fires range in size from less than an acre (0.4 hectare) to more than 750 acres (304 hectares).
None immediately threatened homes, said Forest Service spokesman Michael Odle. Teams moved in Saturday on the two largest fires. South of San Francisco, a fire that burned homes and closed a stretch of highway was 90 percent contained, said officials of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Officials had expected full containment on Saturday, but hot weather and stubborn hot spots kept fire crews busy. Cal Fire now expects the fire to be fully contained on Sunday. So far, it had charred 630 acres (255 hectares), or less than a square mile (2.59 sq. kilometer).

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The Unluckiest Town in America

by Steven Gray, Time Magazine

It was early evening in Grand Tower, Ill., and Josh Franklin, 23, was standing outside his aunt's double-wide trailer. He'd like to move away from this community of 585 people to Carbondale, a college town about half an hour's drive to the north. But he can't afford to. Grand Tower isn't much of anyplace anymore. Its last restaurant closed shortly after the great flood of 1993. There isn't a bookstore. Don't even ask about wi-fi access. "If we get a major flood," he says, "it's all over. A lot of small towns, they've just disappeared. We're going to be next." The floods are certainly coming. And who knows when the next big earthquake will hit, since the town sits within the New Madrid Seismic Zone, one of the continent's most violent.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mass Extinctions Due to Sea Level Changes, Study Says

John Roach for National Geographic News

The rise and fall of the seas may have a more lethal toll on Earth's life than asteroids and supervolacanoes, according to a new study.
Over the past 540 million years, every increase in the rate of extinctions—including so-called mass extinctions—are linked to environmental changes wrought by changing sea levels.
Only some space-rock impacts and super volcanoes, on the other hand, are clearly linked to mass-extinction events, researchers say.
"To me, that is pretty striking," study leader Shanan Peters, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said.
"[It] doesn't mean [sea level changes are] the only control, but it means that there is a statistical first-order predictability to the system that comes out at these turnovers in shallow marine settings."
The research is relevant today, as what many scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction gets underway. The current elevated rate of extinctions may be due to human-induced global warming experts say.

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Levee breaks as Midwest flood damage mounts

By Nick Carey
QUINCY, Illinois (Reuters) - Hundreds of volunteers on the surging Mississippi River piled sandbags atop strained levees on Tuesday as the worst Midwest flooding in 15 years delivered a blow to the U.S. economy and world food prices.
A levee broke in Gulfport, Illinois, sending muddy waters from the most important U.S. waterway cascading into nearby farmland and a few homes. No one was injured but authorities closed the bridge across the river to Burlington, Iowa.
Corn and soybean prices stayed near record levels as millions of acres of cropland have been lost or damaged in the world's largest grain exporter. Meat prices also soared, in line with the costs for feeding cattle, hogs and chickens.

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Flooding in China Kills Dozens

New York Times
SHANGHAI — Torrential rains that have caused some of the worst flooding in 50 years and killed scores of people continued to batter a huge swath of southern China on Tuesday near one of the biggest manufacturing zones in the country.
The government said the storms and floods had killed at least 63 people over the past week, left 13 missing and affected more than 17 million people in nine southern provinces. The high waters have also inundated about 5.4 million acres of cropland, set off landslides, damaged roads and bridges and forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes in southern and central provinces.

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How the floods will hurt the economy

"Beyond the human tragedy, the flooding in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest may also lead to higher food prices and lower exports."

By Chris Isidore, senior writer

NEW YORK ( -- The flooding in Iowa over the last week has been a tremendous human tragedy for many in the Hawkeye state.
But it appears that the heavy rains will also have an impact that reaches far beyond the Midwest. Nationwide, consumers are likely to see higher grocery prices into next year due to disruptions in corn production. That could be another blow to an economy that's already reeling in part because of inflation fears.
Corn futures hit a record intra-day high on Monday as traders tried to estimate the damage to the corn harvest.
Iowa alone is estimated to have lost between 1 million and 3 million acres of corn production. That's about 7% to 21% of the overall production by the nation's top corn producing state.

33,000-acre wildfire burning in Monterey County nearly 50 percent contained

A wildfire that has burned for more than a week and consumed 33,305 acres of the Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County is nearly 50 percent contained, fire officials reported Monday.
Investigators believe the Indians Fire, burning mainly within the Ventana Wilderness about 14 miles west of King City, started from an escaped campfire around 12:30 p.m. June 8, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Steep terrain, limited access, heavy fuels and dry, gusty winds are making the fight against the fire difficult and there is no estimated time when the fire will be fully contained.
The blaze has cost approximately $12.2 million to combat, according to the Forest Service.

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Health officials watching fast spread of West Nile

SACRAMENTO—California health officials are concerned about the discovery of 133 birds in 18 counties this year that have died of West Nile virus.
At this time last year, they had found only 33 West Nile-infected dead birds in 12 counties.
While there have been no human cases reported so far, Department of Health spokeswoman Suanne Buggy says officials are closely monitoring the virus' spread. Humans contract the virus through mosquito bites.
A spokeswoman for the Sacramento-Yolo monitoring region, Luz Maria Rodriguez, says she was surprised when a dead bird with the virus was found so early in the season—in March.
The mosquito season is temperature-dependent, but usually lasts from about April to September.

Astronomers find 'super Earths' circling a star

WASHINGTON (AP) — European astronomers have found a trio of "super-Earths" closely circling a star that astronomers once figured had nothing orbiting it, demonstrating that planets keep popping up in unexpected places.
Monday's announcement is the first time three planets close to Earth's size were found orbiting a single star, said Swiss astronomer Didier Queloz. He was part of the Swiss-French team using the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in the desert in Chile.
The mass of the smallest of these super-Earths is about four times the size of Earth. That may seem like a lot, but they are quite a bit closer in size and likely composition to Earth than our solar system's giants — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They are much too hot to support life, Queloz said.

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