Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Swami Vivekananda's cottage in the Thousand Islands IS OPEN

Swami Vivekananda's cottage in the Thousand Islands IS OPEN. It is a must visit for anyone interested in Hinduism and its vedanta, yoga and meditation. It is only opened briefly in the summer. It provides for a lovely day visit. The Thousands Islands is spectacularly beautiful.

Swami Vivekananda's Cottage in the Thousand Islands Park on Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands will  be open until July 27th this year. The cottage itself will be open those days from 10AM to 12 Noon and from 4PM to 6PM. You can certainly walk the grounds when the cottage is not open.  The worrisome thing is that it seems that the visit time is being reduced each year. Years ago they used to have a lovely satsang--chanting and singing followed by a group meditation.

The room upstairs where the Swami stayed while he was there for 8 weeks in 1895 (he lectured and taught on Vedanta) has a powerful vortex; one that put me instantly in the balcony a few years ago. Very, very strong. You definitely need to meditate in the room--the vortex is located in the center of the room.

The house and the immediate area rests on Fields of Consciousness. There is another vortex in the rocks behind the house. Meditating on the rocks in front of, or behind the house would be a good thing to do.

Make sure to visit the rock/tree in the back (it is a short 5 minute walk) where Swami Vivekananda achieved the highest state of Samadhi. It said that on his last day August 7, 1895 at the Thousand Islands the Swami went into the back woods to meditate and froze solid in meditation and remained oblivious to torrential rain and is said to have achieved nirvikalpa Samadhi. (Page 104)

“He had a unique experience of inner freedom at the Thousand Islands Park which he expressed eloquently in his poem “The Song of Sannyasin”. He wrote from there to a friend:

“I am free, my bonds are cut, what do I care whether this body goes or does not go? I have a truth to teach—I am a child of God. And He that gave me truth will send me fellow workers from the earth’s bravest and best.” Page 105-106
Source Vivekananda a Biography (1953)
The tree has since died, but a new one has been planted and a memorial erected. It is a short walk to the back.

The Swami from the NYC Ramakrishna Vivekananda Center will teaching a program in spirituality beginning Wednesday July 27 in the evening and ending Saturday at noon.

Make sure to call before visiting to check to verify it is open, (315) 482-2189
P.O. BOX 1084
Telephone: (315) 482-3031

My book Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA,OH,NJ,CT,MA,VT,ONT) That Changed the World has wonderful writeup with other suggested places to visit on Pages 241-257, the cottage is on pages 242-249.

Here are some helpful links.

Vivekananda's speech to the Worlds Religion that catapulted him to fame. I never noticed it before that he begins Sisters and Brothers and not Brothers and Sisters. BRAVO!

The preceding is an old post that I put out each year.

Erik Gelden In Jessica Jones Season 3 Exhibits the Superpower in us all

If you have had a chance to watch the 3rd season of Marvel Comic's  Jessica Jones (Netflix) you will have seen Jessica's recent flame, Erik Gelden. He has an unusual superpower; he can sense evil. When he gets close to an evil person he gets a bad migraine beginning from behind his eyes. The closer the person to him and the darker their evil the greater the pain.

There is something to this.

According to Hindu Vedanta the seat of your consciousness is located in the area of your forehead. It is your mind screen and its called your Chidakasha


When I began to meditate in powerful Fields of Consciousness(FOC) I was taking on massive amounts of Spiritual Nutrition that was nourishing my soul and helping facilitate its transformation. I like Erik Gelden began to become highly sensitive to the consciousness, or morality, of the places and people I came in contact with. Sadly most are not good so I would get headaches like Erik; only when it was really bad it felt as though a large set of vicegrips/pliers where gripped around my temple area and squeezing hard.

Over time my sensitivity to the consciousness that I came in contact with began to diminish. I began to sense it less, unless it was just after meditating in a powerful FOC. I still feel consciousness, particularly if I focus on it, or run into someone very negative/dark.


While you may not sense negative consciousness like Erik does, or I did, it still matters a lot. Because you are merging with that negative consciousness even if you cannot feel it. This matters an awful lot, as I discuss in my upcoming book Everything Has Karma: Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness.

While some may consider Eric Gelden a superhero he is only a person that can sense what is going on 24/7 with us.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Study Says an Aggressive Planting of Trees Globally Could Cut Air Pollution by 25%

A recent Study in Science Magazine said that an aggressive program to plant trees globally would reduce carbon pollution by 25%.

The potential for global forest cover
The restoration of forested land at a global scale could help capture atmospheric carbon and mitigate climate change. .. This would represent a greater than 25% increase in forested area, including more than 500 billion trees and more than 200 gigatonnes of additional carbon at maturity. Such a change has the potential to cut the atmospheric carbon pool by about 25%.

The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. We mapped the global potential tree coverage to show that 4.4 billion hectares of canopy cover could exist under the current climate. Excluding existing trees and agricultural and urban areas, we found that there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares of canopy cover, which could store 205 gigatonnes of carbon in areas that would naturally support woodlands and forests. This highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date. However, climate change will alter this potential tree coverage. We estimate that if we cannot deviate from the current trajectory, the global potential canopy cover may shrink by ~223 million hectares by 2050, with the vast majority of losses occurring in the tropics. Our results highlight the opportunity of climate change mitigation through global tree restoration but also the urgent need for action.

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Second 'ROUND' of Robins

I went to take down the Robin's nest from my backyard patio and found two eggs within it. So I put the nest back. I posted a few weeks back about Robins nesting over my patio light for the last few years. I had seen Robins milling around the nest thinking it a bit strange; perhaps the fledglings not wanting to fully leave their nest?

Below ia a picture of the nest I took a couple of days ago.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Climate Change News

This past week saw some alarming events regarding the state of our Mother's health.

World faces ‘climate apartheid’ risk, 120 more million in poverty: UN expert

Climate change “threatens to undo the last 50 years” of development, global health and poverty reduction, a United Nations expert said on Tuesday, citing the risk of a new era of “climate apartheid” where the rich buy their way out of rising heat and hunger.

“Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston.

Underscoring that climate change will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable, he added that “it could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.”

Europe Experiencing Record Heat

Europe has had five 500-year summers in 15 years. And now this

Another deadly heat wave has Europe in its sweaty grip this week. Record temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) in parts of France, Germany, Poland and Spain, with hotter days to come. The same thing happened last year—record-breaking heat was responsible for 700 deaths in Sweden and more than 250 in Denmark, countries that have never needed air conditioning before this new era of climate-change-driven extreme events.

Europe’s five hottest summers in the past 500 years have all occurred in the last 15 years, not including this summer. All have been deadly. The 2003 heat wave was the worst, having led to the deaths of over 70,000 people; in 2010, 56,000 died in Russia alone.

These extreme heat events are all connected to a slower jet stream that locks weather systems into place, says Michael Mann of Penn State University. Mann co-authored a study last year that linked the slowdown in the jet stream—the band of high-altitude winds that sweep around the globe from west to east—to last summer’s unprecedented droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and flooding events across the entire Northern Hemisphere. And it is likely behind India’s weak monsoon rains and the widespread flooding in the U.S. Midwest this year.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sacred Sites Update--Stone Wall Inn NYC Celebrates 50 years

Today the birth of the Gay Pride Movement turns 50 years old and it all started at the Stonewall Inn in NYC.

What is of note is that part of the Stonewall Inn rests on a Field of Consciousness (FOC.) In the picture below I have circled the part that rests on the FOC.

It is my believe that space matters and that it can influence us. In particular I believe that the Northeast of America is where Mother Earth's soul resides, specifically because of the FOC. I call it Northstar Country and it is the birthplace of much of what we hold dear--the birthplace of Women's Rights, American Democracy, the Spiritualist Movement, Mormonism, the New Age and much more. To that we can add Gay Pride.

While the Stonewall Inn was not included in my book Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA,OH,NJ,CT,MA,VT,ONT) That Changed the World it will if I do a revision. I have since found many others.

While it is a single FOC of consciousness, not a stacked FOC where several FOC are placed upon each other and you will not feel much if you visit, it still had a powerful affect.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

5G and the Bias of Science

5G (digital cell networks) will soon be ravaging your body and our Mother as more and more cities allow for its service in their communities. In my home town the Syracuse Common Council voted to allow small 5g towers to be placed on just about every city block. My counselor Joe Driscoll did not return my phone calls and ended up voting for the bill even though he had concerns.

I am hoping to find time to organize around 5g and educate people about the serious dangers 5g posses to your health and to Mother Earth. I have been engrossed in finishing my fifth book Everything Has Karma and sending out review copies. Basically by allowing 5G we are adding fuel to the microwaving of ourselves and our Mother. 

How We are Duped by Industry and Science
We need to understand that industry and science have their thumb on the scale when it comes to the public's interest. Remember how for year's we heard how safe Monsanto's Roundup was until it wasn't? Sheryl Atkinson's Full Measure had a wonderful segment today showing how Industry is able to manipulate, payoff and use science to its advantage to  mislead the public,  Slanted Science

Do You Think that Verizon and other Cell Provider's are any different?

Dr. Robert O. Becker
Dr. Robert O. Becker (1923-2008) was a pioneer in the research of bioelectricity based out Syracuse's Upstate Medical. He would come to learn how important electricity/EMF's are to life.He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Becker also came to understand the dangers of what he called "electropollution." Saying in  his book  Cross Currents "the exposure of living organisms to abnormal electromagnetic fields results in significant abnormalities in physiology and function." (page 187.)

It was at Environmental Protection Agency hearings in 1975 over a New York State Power Authority plan to run a 765,000-volt line from Utica to Massena, N.Y., on the Canadian border, that Becker announced his opposition on health grounds. Becker and one of his students, Andrew Marino, said that they had found various irregularities in rats exposed to high-voltage electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Their findings meant that no one should be within 100 yards of high-power lines, they testified.
Becker later appeared on "60 Minutes" to raise more concerns, but his visibility on the issue ended his other scientific studies because he questioned the objectivity of the National Academy of Sciences, according to Mr. Marino. Becker's grants were canceled. "Regeneration studies were effectively killed," said Mr. Marino, now a professor in the department of cellular biology and anatomy at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Becker actively protested against power lines in New York State until his death in 2008.

Professor Andrew Marino (Becker's student) would go on to address the bias in science with his book Going Somewhere: Truth about a Life in Science

5G is worse
5G is electropollution on steroids. It is an environmental issue as well as a health issue. To me it is particularly sad to see my community vote for 5G when such an icon on the effect of EMF's on our health hailed from Syracuse. SAD.

As I have said many times before Technology Kills.

Here are some helpful links,

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sacred Sties Update--Peacemaker's Sanctuary Onondaga Lake

Yesterday when I visited the Peacemaker's Sanctuary I found that a tree had fallen near one of the benches. It could also be a tree that was along paved trail that I saw at my last visit and someone dragged it down to the lake.

I had not visited since May. I also noticed that Yellow Flag, what most know as a form of yellow Iris had taken root in several locations. While yellow flag is pretty when it blooms many consider it to be an invasive species.

Given all the rain I expected that much of the area would be soggy. Fortunately only the area of the far bench was a little wet.

Keeper's Work
I had come to the Peacemaker's Sanctuary to do Keeper's work--the physical and spiritual maintenance of the sacred site.  I cut back the reeds and picked up some garbage. I also dragged the fallen, or washed up tree(?), into the woods.

As for the spiritual work I fortified the energy vortices on both benches. (To learn  about Energy Vortices read my article in Wisdom Magazine or my book Vortices and Spirals.)

As for the closest bench I had to move it back to where it had been before to align up the energy vortices. Energy vortices attach to objects and locations. So when the vortex formed it attached to both the bench and to the location where the bench first was.  So by moving the bench I was aligning up the energy vortex on the bench with the one on the ground.

Because the first bench sees more traffic it had totally dissipated. I was able to revive it. 

Why had it dissipated?

Energy vortices form in response to human intention(love, compassions, altruism, giving, etc..) are are affected by the consciousness that they come in contact with. They merge with it.

The first bench sees more traffic and because many are not on a spiritual path the vortex diminishes when it merges with such consciousness. Also the thinking and activities occurring there are not always of the highest good. Again that consciousness merges with that of the energy vortex, often to the detriment to the energy vortex. As I have taught and written about on several occasions,  consciousness merges with the consciousness it comes in contact with; most notably in my book Everything Has Karma

The vortex on the second bench was still intact, albeit weaker. It was much more easily revived. 
Looking at the picture above it seems like our friend Mr. Beaver has gnawed down a few more trees by the far bench. Notice the tree stumps with pencil sharpened like tops.

While it may seem that by continually having to clean and spiritually uplift a space I am like Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a mountain to have it roll down once I get it to the top. Such is a Keeper's work. Understand also that those visiting, especially if they sit on the benches will be enveloped by an energy vortex. And while they may diminish its vibe and deplete the energy vortex they will be the better for it because their consciousness will be raised by the consciousness of the energy vortex when they merge with it. The vortices will not only raise their consciousness but MAY give them insights, have them find resolution or healing, give them joy and much more. What a blessing it is to be able to do this.

The Holiest of Holy Places
Onondaga Lake where the great Haudenosaunee prophet the Peacemaker planted the Tree of Peace and gave us the Great Law Peace upon which America's democracy is based upon is the holiest of holiest places. As I noted in Sacred Sites it has the most potent Fields of Consciousness. Much of we hold dear--democracy, Women's Rights,..trace their roots to Onondaga Lake and its environs.

The Peacemaker's Sanctuary is a place where people have found answers to questions, have gotten great insights, had their prayers answered and much more. Find time this summer to visit this sacred place and soak up all the love it holds. I will endeavor to maintain the vibrancy of the energy vortices. VISIT AND EXPERIENCE THE BEST OUR MOTHER HAS TO OFFER.

Directions for the Peacemaker's Sanctuary Onondaga...

Report--Climate Change is an Existential Threat to Humankind

Existential climate-related security risk:
A scenario approach

● Analysis of climate-related security threats depends significantly on understanding the strengths and limitations of climate science projections. Much scientific knowledge produced for climate policy-making is conservative and reticent.

● Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilisation. A new approach to climate-related security risk-management is thus required, giving particular attention to the high-end and difficult-to-quantify “fat-tail” possibilities.

● This may be most effectively explored by scenario analysis. A 2050 scenario is outlined in which accelerating climate- change impacts pose large negative consequences to humanity which might not be undone for centuries.

● To reduce such risks and to sustain human civilisation, it is essential to build a zero- emissions industrial system very quickly. This requires the global mobilization of resources on an emergency basis, akin to a wartime level of response.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

New Book--Everything Has Karma, Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness


I have just finished my latest book (# 5) Everything Has Karma, Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness ($16.95.) Below is some information on it. You can learn more at its Amazon Page. The book will officially be released September 23, 2019.

I have 3 talks scheduled so far and plan on adding more.
Sept 14 (Sat) 2 PM  Syracuse, Paine Branch Library 113 Nichols Ave
Sept 20 (Thur) 6:30 PM N.Syr., Finger Lakes Dowsers, North Syr. Community Car, 700 S. Bay Rd.
Oct 5 (Sat) 1 PM Rochester Central Library, 115 South Ave. Rochester

You will be able to buy Everything Has Karma at one of my talks or online.

Karma is much more than a simple law of retribution it binds everyone and everything together. In a world where everything has karma we are constantly reaping what others have sown and being shaped, pulled and manipulated by everything we come in contact with-- our friends, where we work, the music we listen to, what we eat, drink, our views on religion and politics, where we live, what we read, the groups we belong to and more. Basically everything in our lives affects us; because everything has karma.

Everything Has Karma explains how the process of karma works and how and why you can take on the karma of others and of things. You will learn how to navigate your life in a world where everything has karma. As well as how you can make karma work for you. You will also learn about circles, spiritual nutrition and much, much, more. Ultimately karma is about making a better you and a better us.

Everything Has Karma is a radical departure from the traditional view of karma.

As you begin to see the impact of karma in connecting everyone and everything you will come to understand that you are your sister's keeper, your bother's keeper, the keeper of Mother Earth, the keeper of all of creation...

Mystics and sages for time immemorial have been telling us that everything is connected and that we are ONE. Everything Has Karma will teach you how karma helps make this happen. Everything Has Karma will change how you see karma and the world. 

“This book is a masterpiece.  Really!  Forget the usual treatment of tit-for-tat karma, the light/dark, curse/joy of it all.  Not here.  What you have instead is what Senner’s keen eye noticed – the interconnecting swirls of thought and action. “ P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., an early researcher of the near-death phenomenon, author of Future Memory and more.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Sacred Sites Update--Howland Stone Store Museum--OPen House June 1, 1-4

The following is my post from LIfe in the Finger Lakes. The Howland Stone Store is listed as a sacred site in Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA, OH ,NJ,CT,MA, VT,ONT) That Changed the World


Saturday’s Open House is a chance to experience a noteworthy spirit in the history of the Finger Lakes and meet those looking to keep that spirit alive.

One of the Finger Lakes’ prominent Underground Railroad sites, the Howland Stone Store Museum in Sherwood (Aurora) will be having an Open House this Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 1 to 4PM. Visitor’s will not only have a chance to peruse the Stone Store but also get an early glimpse of how the restoration of the Opendore home is progressing.
Slocum Howland (1794-1881) was a business man and lawyer that was part of a vibrant Quaker community in the Aurora area. He built the store in Sherwood in 1837.
Slocum was an ardent social reformer and conductor on the Underground Railroad. His business of buying and selling goods afforded him the opportunity to transport Freedom Seekers on the Underground Railroad; it also provided him with the means to help people settle in the Sherwood area. Two of the better known Freedom Seekers to remain were Herman and Hannah Phillips who had three sons serve in the Civil War.
It is believed that passengers on the Underground Railroad would stay in the cellar of the store, or at one of the other buildings that the Howlands owned. There were also many other Quaker homes available nearby. The hamlet of Sherwood is listed on the National Register of Historic places because of its advocacy for social reform. https://www.howlandstonestore.org/Sherwood.pdf
Slocum’s daughter Emily (1827-1929) actively involved with Women’s Rights and with the education of African Americans. She was also a major benefactor to those efforts. It is believed that she funded over forty schools across America, the majority focused on the education of African Americans. Visit https://www.howlandstonestore.org to learn more.

The Opendore Project

The Opendore House a few houses north of the Stone Store Museum was purchased by Slocum Howland’s son William (1826-1905) in 1853 who had married Hannah Letchworth. Upon their death it was transferred to their daughter Isabel (1859-1942.)
Isabel embraced the Howland family tradition of social reform. She was an important figure in Women’s Suffrage, serving as the President of New York State Woman Suffrage Association at least once. The National American Woman Suffrage Association honored her on several occasions. To learn more, visit http://theopendoreproject.com

The Museum

In 1988 the Friends of the Howland Stone Store reached an agreement to purchase the store from Cayuga County with the formal transfer in 1991. In 2008 Cayuga County offered the Opendore House to the Howland Stone Store Museum for payment of back taxes.
It is expected the Opendore house restoration will be completed by next year.
The Howland Stone Store has many Women’s Rights posters. There is also an Underground Railroad Pass carried by two Freedom Seekers who came the Slocum’s store in 1840. Upstairs is the “Cabinet of Curiosities” that contains memorabilia and artifacts purchased by the Howlands during their trips around the world.
The Opendore home is under restoration, but the drywall is up and you can see the rooms. The once extensive gardens only have some walls and walkways up. More is planned.
The Howland Stone Store Museum is located at 2956 State Route 34B, Hamlet of Sherwood, NY. Phone, 315-345-3210, or 315-364-8158.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Robins are Back

The following is my blog post to Life in the Finger Lakes.

For the last few years a pair of Robins has been nesting in my yard. While that’s not unusual, the fact that they have been doing so in the same place is; above the floodlight in the patio of my backyard.

I don’t believe that it’s the same pair of Robins, but are most likely from an extended brood. In other words, descendants from that first pair and their descendants who also nested above my floodlight keep coming back.  That said Robins can live to be fourteen years old. Although the mortality rate is high. Cornell estimates that only forty percent of nesting birds produce young robins and that the population of robins turns over every six years. 

The Robins usually come in May. But last year they came late in June. When they had not arrived by Memorial Day I thought that the trend was broken. The NYS DEC says that Robin’s nest from March to July in upstate New York and have two, to three broods. 

Back in 2016 there were pairs of Robins nested in both my front and back yards at the same time. The nest in the front yard was above the light on my front steps. When I realized that Robins had made their nest there I left them alone. The only disturbance was a daily visit by the mailman.

The most challenging time is the Nestling period when the chicks have hatched and have not left the nest. I have two dogs and am always concerned that they may harm the young Robins that have left the nest and still can’t fly and are wandering around the yard. So I always check the yard first before I let them out during the Nestling period. There is also the concern that a neighbors’ cat may get to them.

Two years ago the young Robin’s bolted quickly. One jumped out way too soon and I put it back. The next day the robin left again. Within a day the others were gone as well. One year a Robin stayed in the nest and seemed not interested in leaving. But then I guess hunger got to the Robin.

Robins are loved around the world and there are many tales associated with them. One holds that the Robin’s redbreast comes from the blood of Jesus whom a Robin visited while he was dying on the cross. Several drops of blood from Jesus’ crown fell upon the Robin’s breast and no matter how hard the Robin tried to wash it off it never could. 

I regret that I did not take more pictures of the Robins over the years. I have kept a few of the nests. I take a nest down not long after the robins have left. Sadly nests often contain the accouterments of our modern society such as pieces of plastic.

Patterns and habits are a funny thing. Most of us look forward to seeing Robins in the spring thinking that spring has sprung. To me it is wondering if a pair of Robins will return and nest above the flood light in patio. Some may think that some sort of imprint or memory lingers above the floodlight in patio, or a young Robin’s memory of nesting there is behind this phenomenon. All I know is that the Robins are back. https://www.lifeinthefingerlakes.com/the-robins-are-back/

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Tubman Nixed from the $20 Bill

The petty and prejudiced Trump administration nixed the picture of Harriet Tubman for the $20 bill. Postponing it until 2028 citing security concerns. What bull. This is purely a political and petty action. Shame on you Donnie.

Harriet Tubman is an American hero. Known for her courageous work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She was also an ardent Women's Rights Activist and patron for Senior citizens building a Senior's home in Auburn, NY.

Harriet's home is located down the street from the William Seward home in Auburn, NY. Both contain Fields of Consciousness and are listed as sacred sites in my book Sacred Sites in North Star Country: Places in Greater New York State (PA,OH,NJ,CT,MA,VT,ONT) That Changed the World

The three objects mark the high points of a a Field of Consciousness in the front yard of Harriet Tubman's home.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Robins Eggs Finally Hatched

Robins have returned to nest above the floodlight of the patio in my backyard. I believe that this is the fourth year this has happened. You can see some of the pictures, I did not take pictures every year, by clicking ROBINS.

I will post an article with a link to the article I wrote for Life in Finger Lakes about this in few days.

This more I was happy to learn that the eggs did hatch. I was concerned because the mother Robin has been nesting for three years.

The question is whether the Robins are the same pair, part of an extended family of the first pair or were drawn by an imprint forged over years. We leave an impression of all that we think and do at a place. If we feed with the same pattern of behavior the influence of the imprint becomes stronger.

Some pictures from Sunday.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Letter on Violence

My friend and spiritual leader Ralph Singh who has been leading prayers and talking at our vigils at the Peacemaker's Sanctuary after mass shootings had a Letter to the Editor published today in the Syracuse Post Standard.

We must vaccinate our children against hate (Commentary)

Ralph Singh, of Elbridge, is chair of Wisdom Thinkers Network. The nonprofit creates training workshops for schools, religious educators and corporations to use stories in developing a more compassionate, inclusive and ethical culture. 
In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, Ralph Singh speaks at a sunset candlelight vigil held along Onondaga Lake's West Shore for victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Singh writes in response to recent shootings at schools and houses of worship. (Michael Greenlar | mgreenlar@syracuse.com)

By Ralph Singh | Special to Syracuse.com
Following 9/11, people came together in solidarity, not simply to stand together, but to pledge that hatred and fear could not tear this nation apart. No doubt the focus was that the fabric and resiliency of our great Union was stronger than any external terrorist threat – existential or real. But what we didn’t recognize and are still not willing to come to grips with, is the enemy from within. The hatred and fear that continues to gain momentum, not just in our country but around the world. For once given air, once allowed to see the light of day, its power grows exponentially. Even more basic, is the need to control the anger and hatred that lies within each of us.
I spoke as part of the post-9/11 memorial in Clinton Square, and at another in Fulton, calling forth the light in each of us to overcome the darkness, and I was among the first group of spiritual leaders who prayed together on the wooden “bridge” that was extended next to Trinity Church overlooking the gaping hole that had been the World Trade Center. The air was heavy not simply with the dust which still clogged the streets and fogged the night air, but with the souls of the martyrs.
They were crying out: “Is it enough? Was our martyrdom enough to stop the hatred and war?”
The answer came “Yes!” But there was a condition: that we, the living, not forget – and stand against hatred. It seems we are not living up to our part.
But the attack also triggered a string of hate crimes, killings and arsons, which continue to today. Sikhs with our distinguishing turbans and beards were made the first visible target. Gobind Sadan, USA, our spiritual center in Palermo, N.Y., was the first victim of an arson attack on a house of worship in the country following 9/11. Four teens got drunk and torched the place, but instead of hatred, we responded with a powerful prayer of forgiveness from H.H. Baba Virsa Singh ji and embraced the teens as part of our family. They wrote to us from prison, “If only we’d known your story, we never would have done this.” To this day, some say that our response transformed their lives. And it brought the broader community together in love to transcend the darkness. Strangers were calling, “This is not the America I fought for.” We are with you.
It is out of that attack that the seeds of Wisdom Thinkers were sown.

Hate and its derivative, fear, have always smoldered beneath the surface. It erupts from time to time whenever and wherever it gets air. So while spiritually we can forgive and embrace others, we cannot allow hatred in whatever form to be given free reign. We have created the climate for hatred to breed and it has become rampant.
The hatred and intolerance contained in what is termed the white supremacy movement is undeniable. It cannot be ignored. And it is incumbent on our leaders from the top down – not only to condemn it, but to take the necessary steps to curtail it. All people should be welcome, as long as they leave their hatred at the door.
While the measles outbreak has garnered well-deserved attention as a major threat to public health, how do we vaccinate our children and others against hate? It is my firm conviction, that sharing each other’s stories and gathering to love our neighbors, no matter where they are from or what they look like, provides some simple first steps.
Wisdom Thinkers and wisdom thinkers of all ages have always called on humanity to rise above our baser instincts and forge a path to peace. Let us all follow that story.

Monday, May 6, 2019

IPBES--One Million Species Face Extinction

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’
Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

Current global response insufficient;
‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature;
Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good

Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;
1,000,000 species threatened with extinction

The Report notes that, since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, raising average global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius – with climate change already impacting nature from the level of ecosystems to that of genetics – impacts expected to increase over the coming decades, in some cases surpassing the impact of land and sea use change and other drivers.

Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies, the Report also finds that global goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors. With good progress on components of only four of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, it is likely that most will be missed by the 2020 deadline. Current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80% (35 out of 44) of the assessed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, related to poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 14 and 15). Loss of biodiversity is therefore shown to be not only an environmental issue, but also a developmental, economic, security, social and moral issue as well.

“To better understand and, more importantly, to address the main causes of damage to biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people, we need to understand the history and global interconnection of complex demographic and economic indirect drivers of change, as well as the social values that underpin them,” said Prof. Brondízio. “Key indirect drivers include increased population and per capita consumption; technological innovation, which in some cases has lowered and in other cases increased the damage to nature; and, critically, issues of governance and accountability. A pattern that emerges is one of global interconnectivity and ‘telecoupling’ – with resource extraction and production often occurring in one part of the world to satisfy the needs of distant consumers in other regions.”

Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.
The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980.
Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface, up to US$577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection.
In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% were maximally sustainably fished, with just 7% harvested at levels lower than what can be sustainably fished.
Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992.
Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) - a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom.
Negative trends in nature will continue to 2050 and beyond in all of the policy scenarios explored in the Report, except those that include transformative change – due to the projected impacts of increasing land-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, although with significant differences between regions.