Sunday, March 12, 2023

Spring Flowers

The following are from my garden, the pictures were taken in late February. Snowdrops are always the first to appear. What is interesting is that the ones below are on the north facing side of my home.

The daffodils were trying to popup. Way to early to see them--then again, they are on the  south facing side of the house.

Spring flowers are a sure sign winter is waning.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Recent UFO Speculation Shows We Have Not changed

When the USA shot down several supposed weather balloons a few weeks back, which many claimed to be UFO's, I was reminded of the movie 'The Day the Earth Stood Still.' A classic, one of the best sci-fi flicks ever made.

In the movie Michael Rennie, stars as Klaatu, a traveler from a distant planet, who comes as a prophet of sorts to warn the residents of Earth we are close to destroying ourselves.

Upon landing in Washington his space ship is immediately surrounded by the military. Guns, tanks, artillery of all sorts are  pointed at the craft. When Klaatu emerges and pulls out a gift, he is instantly struck by a bullet.

A messenger of peace is gunned down. Klaatu survives the ordeal. The movie concludes with him offering world leaders a choice-- a forboding warning of annihilation, or become peaceful and be welcomed into the un1verse of peaceful nations.

We shot down several small balloons not knowing their purpose, where they came from and who launched them. They were not a threat. Many felt they were UFO's. Hence why I the incident reminded of The Day the World Stood Still.

We have survived eighty years without a nuclear war. Will we survive another eighty?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Expanding Our Lexicon to Reflect the Realities of Climate Change

Teuchnikskreis-- the "false belief that creating technology will get us out of our mess, when in fact, our mess is cultural." Was my favorite new word created to deal with, and understand, Climate Change. My favorite because I feel that technology cannot save the day. In fact, technology helped put us in this mess we are in, and yet we continue to see it as a panacea, when it is the the opposite. Even if we came up with a strategy to save ourselves we cannot agree on anything. 

It comes from The Bureau of Linguistical Reality:esatablished in 2014 to develop words to help speakers communicate about the dramatic changes climate change is creating.  It adheres to Linguistic Relativity (Sapir–Whorf hypothesis), which holds that “the structure of a language affects the ways in which its respective speakers conceptualize their world, i.e. their world view or otherwise influences their cognitive processes.”

The group embraces, and sees itself as a result of,   the 'Anthropocene" (refers to our current ecological epoch that replaced the Holocene), which is understandable, because we are seriously messing up our Mother (Earth). The Anthropocene developed because human activity had begun to dominate the Earth in such a major way, as other epics like the Ice Age did. Here is a post I did on it back in 2016 The Anthropocene Epoch and the Conquest of Mother Earth.

The establishment of the Bureau of Languages puts an exclamation on climate change and how pervasive and overwhelming it has become. Basically, our Mother is in deep trouble and it is getting worse. The fat that we have to make up new words to describe what is going on is a very bad omen.

Here are a few more new words,

Psychic Corpus Dissonance--A term to express the conflict between mind and body that occurs when a person experiences unusually warm weather during a time that has historically been considered winter.  In this state the body experiences ecstasy to be in unusually warm weather while, simultaneously, the mind experiences worry and concern that weather patterns are deeply amiss, often resulting in a sensation akin to guilt or guilty pleasure.

Shadowtime--A parallel timescale that follows one around throughout day to day experience of regular time. Shadowtime manifests as a feeling of living in two distinctly different temporal scales simultaneously, or acute consciousness of the possibility that the near future will be drastically different than the present.

Quieseed-- A seed that due to social trauma stays consciously dormant not out of oppression, but rather due to a deep intuition which senses not to seed until it finds itself in a fertile, fecund environment.

Gwilt-- To cause wilting in plants by not providing proper horticultural care out of concern for water consumption, especially during a time of drought. The feeling of regret and responsibility for its wilting. The accompanying compensatory feeling caused by watering said plants and experiencing further gwilt for not practicing water conservation. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

More Research on How Dangerous Cell Phones are to Our Health

Probuplica, the independent nonprofits investigative news agency recently came out with a report r on the dangers of cell phones.  What makes this report so damning is that, as Probuplica notes, standards are over twenty-five years old when cell phones were in their infancy and transmission frequencies were infinitesimal compared to today's technology such as 5G. It may also take decades, as ii did with the tobacco industry, to get proof positive that cell phones are a major health risk. Don't forget the FCC that regulates the cell phone industry is considered the most captive (beholding to corporations) regulator in the USA.

Below is the report

What to Know About Cellphone Radiation

ProPublica recently examined how the federal government, based on quarter-century-old standards, denies that cellphones pose any risks. This guide answers some of the most common questions people ask about cellphone radiation.

To many people, the notion that cellphones or cell towers might present a health risk long ago receded into a realm somewhere between trivial concern and conspiracy theory. For decades, the wireless industry has dismissed such ideas as fearmongering, and federal regulators have maintained that cellphones pose no danger. But a growing body of scientific research is raising questions, with the stakes heightened by the ongoing deployment of hundreds of thousands of new transmitters in neighborhoods across America. ProPublica recently examined the issue in detail, finding that the chief government regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, relies on an exposure standard from 1996, when the Motorola StarTAC flip phone was cutting edge, and that the agency brushed aside a lengthy study by a different arm of the federal government that found that cellphone radiation caused rare cancers and DNA damage in lab animals. The newest generation of cellphone technology, known as 5G, remains largely untested.

Here’s what you need to know:

Do cellphones give off radiation?

Yes. Both cellphones and wireless transmitters (which are mounted on towers, street poles and rooftops) send and receive radio-frequency energy, called “nonionizing radiation.” The amount of this radiation absorbed by the human body depends on how close a person is to a phone and a cell transmitter, as well as the strength of the signal the phone needs to connect with a transmitter. Cellphones displaying fewer bars, which means their connection with a transmitter is weak, require stronger power to communicate and so produce more radiation. Wireless transmitters, for their part, emit radiation continually, but little of that is absorbed unless a person is very close to the transmitter.

What does the science say about this? Is it harmful?

That’s the multibillion-dollar question. Government-approved cellphones are required to keep radiation exposure well below levels that the FCC considers dangerous. Those safeguards, however, have not changed since 1996, and they focus exclusively on the unlikely prospect of “thermal” harm: the potential fohealth complaints, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, tinnitus and insomnia, from people identified as having “electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”

The most sensational — and hotly debated — health fear about wireless radiation is cancer. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, cited troubling but uncertain evidence in classifying wireless radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In 2018, a study by the federal government that was nearly two decades in the making found “clear evidence” that cellphone radiation caused cancer in lab animals. A major study in Italy produced similar results.

Do cellphones pose any special health risks for kids?

Some experts say they do, citing studies suggesting children’s thinner, smaller skulls and developing brains leave them more vulnerable to the effects of cellphone radiation. The American Academy of Pediatrics embraces this concern and has for years urged the FCC to revisit its radiation standards, saying they don’t adequately protect kids. More than 20 foreign governments, as well as the European Environment Agency, urge precautionary steps to limit wireless exposure, especially for children.

What about risks in pregnancy?

A Yale study found hyperactivity and reduced memory in mice exposed to cellphone radiation in the womb, consistent with human epidemiological research showing a rise in behavioral disorders among children who were exposed to cellphones in the womb. Dr. Hugh Taylor, the author of the mouse study and chair of the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences department at the Yale School of Medicine, told ProPublica: “The evidence is really, really strong now that there is a causal relationship between cellphone radiation exposure and behavior issues in children.”

What does the U.S. government say about cellphone radiation?

The key federal agencies — the FCC and the Food and Drug Administration — have echoed the wireless industry and a number of other groups in rejecting evidence of any “nonthermal” human health risk, saying it remains unproven. The government websites also reject the claim that children face any special risk.

In 2019, during the administration of President Donald Trump, the FCC shut down a six-year review of its 1996 wireless-radiation safety standards. The agency rejected pleas to make the standards more stringent, saying it had seen no evidence its safeguards were “outdated or insufficient to protect human safety.” In 2021, however, a federal appeals court ordered the FCC to revisit the issue, saying the agency had ignored evidence of an array of noncancer harms to humans, animals and the environment, and that its decision to uphold its exposure standard failed to meet “even the low threshold of reasoned analysis.” The FCC has taken no formal action since then.

Why is the issue not resolved?

Determining wireless radiation’s health effects with certainty is difficult. Researchers cannot ethically subject people to endless hours of cellphone radiation to gauge the results. Scientists have to rely on alternatives such as animal studies or epidemiological research, where challenges include getting subjects to accurately recount their wireless use and pinpointing the specific causes of disease or harm. Many health effects of toxic exposure, especially cancer, take years or decades to appear. And the mechanisms of how wireless radiation could affect the body at the cellular level are poorly understood.

Research funding on the issue has also been scarce in the U.S., despite frequent calls for more study. Research (and researchers) raising health concerns have come under sharp attack from industry, and government regulators have remained skeptical. A key FDA official, for example, dismissed the relevance of the federal study that found “clear evidence” of cancer in lab animals, saying it wasn’t designed to test the safety of cellphone use in humans, even though his agency had commissioned the research for that reason.

Linda Birnbaum, who led the federal agency that conducted the cellphone study, said that while proof of harm remains elusive, what is known means that precautions are merited. “Do I see a smoking gun? Not per se,” she told ProPublica. “But do I see smoke? Absolutely. There’s enough data now to say that things can happen. … Protective policy is needed today. We really don’t need more science to know that we should be reducing exposures.”

If I’m concerned about the risk, are there precautions I can take to protect myself and my family?

Because exposure varies dramatically with your proximity to the source of the radiation, experts say a key to minimizing risk is increasing your distance from the phone. This means keeping any cellphone that’s turned on away from direct contact with your body. Don’t keep it in your bra, in your pocket or (especially if you’re pregnant) against your abdomen, they say. And instead of holding the phone against your head when you talk, use a speaker or wired earphones. (Wireless headsets, such as AirPods, also emit some radiation.) Try to avoid making calls when the phone is telling you the signal is weak because that boosts the radiation level. You can also limit exposure by simply reducing how much time you spend talking on your cellphone and texting instead, they say. Using an old-fashioned landline avoids the problem altogether.


Saturday, January 14, 2023

In Defense of Witches

 I recently read a book on witches, In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial by French author Mona Collet (English Translation). It was made crystal clear that women were persecuted because they were independent, widowed or single. Healers and supposed sorceresses were persecuted. Older women in particular were flagged. Chollet tells that men wishing to abandon a wife, or lover, would claim them to be a witch.

Witches have been historically associated with Nature, particularly the Goddess Movement.

Collet cites several ecofeminists such as Susan Griffin, who many credit launching the ecofeminist movement with her Woman and Nature, the Roaring Inside Her. She also references the work of Matilda Joslyn Gage, one or the founder's of the Women's Movement.

Chollet shows how the persecution of women as witches led to the sexism of the last few centuries.

While there is merit to the book I found the discussion of witches and the historical perspective lacking, believing there should have been less emphasis  on today's world.

Whenever I read a book on witches and the persecution of women I am reminded of an article I read in the Wall Street Journal in the 1980's; one of those front cover, articles of interest columns. It told of the large number of women forced into prostituion because they were widowed, or single, or... and could not support themselves. So they were forced to sell themselves to survive. Sadly, patriarchalism still prevails in mainline regions and Hollywood continues to stereotype witches as sinister evil doers; in the process perpetrating the canard of patriarchal religions.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Is Religion Why We are Still Struggling with our Environmental Crisis

Pew Research recently released an analysis of religious people's attiudes towards the environment and Climate Change,. How Religion Intersects With Americans’ Views on the Environment Findings consistently showed that religious Americans were less concerned about the environment, than other Americans. Sad.

This is not that surprising because scripture in the Abrahamic faiths says that humankind had dominion over Nature,Genesis 1.28-30 to do with Her as they saw fit.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the Earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the Earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the Earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the Earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the Earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. Genesis 1. 228-30

Here are some of the findings from the Pew Study;

--Compared with religious “nones” (28%), more Christians (44%) – and especially evangelical Protestants (56%) – say that in the next 30 years it is extremely or very likely that the U.S. will overreact to global climate change by creating many unnecessary environmental regulations. And religiously affiliated adults also are more likely than the unaffiliated to anticipate a gradual loss of individual freedoms in the coming decades because of environmental regulations.

--Religious ‘nones’ among most likely to say when we make decisions as a country, we should consider things previous generations did not.

--Upward of half (54%) of all Americans (including two-thirds of religiously affiliated adults) say this description of dominionism mostly or entirely reflects their opinions. This is most commonly expressed by evangelical Protestants (80%) and adults who belong to the historically Black Protestant tradition (79%), while roughly six-in-ten Catholics (60%) and mainline Protestants (59%) feel this way. 

==Most Americans try to do things in their daily lives to protect the environment, but the religiously affiliated are less likely to be civically involved in activities addressing climate change

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Climate Review of 2022

Today's Guardian had a good yearend review of the Climate Crisis. One of the writers Dom Phillips was murdered along with indigenous activist Bruno Periera in Brazil's Amazon this past year. Here is a link:

Environmental review of 2022: another mile on the ‘highway to climate hell’