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When The Well Runs Dry: The Water Scarcity Issue & How We Can All Help

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“We cannot command nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon

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With the fracking boom that has swept many parts of the world using vast quantities of water, it is worth considering the importance water plays within both society and the agricultural system. 97% of the water on the Earth is salt water and only 3% is fresh water; with slightly over two thirds of this being frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is found mainly as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air.

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Groundwater Is Decreasing

Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world’s supply of groundwater is steadily decreasing. With depletion occurring most prominently in Asia and North America, it is still unclear how much natural renewal balances this usage, and whether or not ecosystems are threatened. (1)(2)(3)

Scores of countries are over pumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs. Most aquifers are replenishable but some are not. For example, when aquifers in India and the shallow aquifer under the North China Plain are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping will be automatically reduced to the rate of recharge. But for fossil aquifers, like the Saudi aquifer, the vast Ogallala aquifer under the U.S. Great Plains, or the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, depletion brings pumping to an end.

Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dry land farming if rainfall permits. But in more arid regions, such as in the southwestern United States and parts of the Middle East, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.

Falling water tables are already adversely affecting harvests in some larger countries, including China, which rivals the United States as the world’s largest grain producer. A groundwater survey released in Beijing in August 2001 revealed that the water table under the North China Plain, an area that produces over half of the country’s wheat and a third of its corn, was falling fast. Over pumping has largely depleted the shallow aquifer, forcing well drillers to  turn to the region’s deep aquifer, which is not replenishable.

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Shortages Around The World

As serious as water shortages are in China, they are even more serious in India, where the margin between food consumption and survival is so precarious. To date, India’s 100 million farmers have drilled more than 21 million wells, investing some $12 billion in wells and pumps. In August 2004 Fred Pearce reported in New Scientist that “half of India’s traditional hand dug wells and millions of shallower tube wells have already dried up, bringing a spate of suicides among those who rely on them. Electricity blackouts are reaching epidemic proportions in states where half of the electricity is used to pump water from depths of up to a kilometer.” As water tables fall, well drillers are using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water, going down a half mile or more in some locations. In communities where underground water sources have dried up entirely, all agriculture is now rain-fed and drinking water must be trucked in. Tushaar Shah, who heads the International Water Management Institute’s groundwater station in Gujarat, says of India’s water situation, “When the balloon bursts, untold anarchy will be the lot of rural India.”(4)

Large scale agriculture and the irrigation of land, crops and the grazing of livestock is by far the biggest user of water. In developed countries such as North America and Europe, the average per capita domestic usage of water ranges from around 350 to 550 litres per day. In less developed countries per capita usage ranges from around 10 to 75 litres per day, significantly less than its richer counterparts. Not only are we ‘consuming’ large quantities of water on a daily basis, we also consume vast quantities of water in the associated foods we eat and products we use. We can clearly see different types of food require different amounts of water to produce. It is vital that we understand the processes that go towards producing foods and the externalities that exist in doing so.

Embedded Water in Foods and Clothing

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Waterwise an independent not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation promoting water efficiency and conservation based in London, has calculated the amount of water embedded in a number of everyday beverages and foods we take for granted in the West. Embedded water is the amount of water used in the process of producing and distribution of any agricultural products. Here are some of the more common products you might encounter each day. A pint of beer (575ml) – water embedded 170 Litres, Cup of coffeewater embedded 140 litres, glass of orange juice (200ml)  – water embedded 170 litres, glass of milk (200ml) – 200 litres embedded, slice of bread 30grams – 130 litres embedded, hamburger (150grams) – 2400 litres embedded, cotton tee shirt – 500grams – 4100 litres embedded, packet of potato chips (200grams) – 185 litres embedded.

Making A Shift In The Way We Live

Moving forward it is obvious that livestock as well as cotton are clearly not efficient uses of water. Researchers, scientists and environmentalists have been advocating that if humanity is to survive in its current form, with significant populations, we must see a shift towards a vegetarian diet. It is not difficult to understand how a vegetarian diet makes sense when we look at the inputs that go towards producing various foods. At the very least we should be factoring in the opportunity cost and externalities involved in the food we produce in an effort to conserve water. While domestic water consumption is only 8%, the amount of water used to produce various foods should be taken into account and factored into any water based calculations for richer nations. The embedding of water in the foods we eat significantly increases the average household usage of water.

Apart from making conscious decisions about how we live, the way we grow food, what we eat, wear and consume, water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to protect our waterways and reduce demand for this valuable natural resource. Using less water reduces stress on the environment, infrastructure and uses significantly less energy. Our diligence and awareness is crucial in conserving water and making a difference. By initiating personal change we can reduce our impact on the environment and conserve this vital natural resource. There are a multitude of water saving devices that can positively impact the way water is used. The most effective way to save water is by eliminating unnecessary practices. Here are a few practical ideas to get started.

Natural Landscaping

“The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.”  – David Suzuki

Each plant has naturally adapted to a particular landscape and specific climatic conditions. Planting species not suited to an environment results in significantly increased water usage. Native plants, that is, those plants that occur naturally in an environment, are low maintenance and far more resilient than plant species that have been introduced. Native plants are able to thrive in specific climatic conditions, have the ability to resist pests and use minimal water when compared to introduced non-native species. Native plants require minimal or no additional watering apart from what nature offers. They are programmed to deal with the naturally occurring rainfall. The average ½ inch garden hose pumps about 9 gallons, or 34 litres per minute. So you can do the math as to how much water you will save by reducing the time spent watering plants that don’t actually need much water.

When you need to water plants here are a few tips that will make a difference in reducing your water consumption. To reduce evaporation rates, make sure you water plants when it is cooler, usually in the morning or late afternoon. Learn as much about plants and their water requirements as possible, so that you don’t unnecessarily over water them. Many plants and trees have deep roots that enable the plant to sustain themselves for several weeks without being watered. Another great way to reduce evaporation rates is to place a layer of mulch around trees, plants and vegetable gardens as this significantly reduces watering and evaporation rates.

Watering Lawns!

“When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

Much of suburbia takes great pride in growing and cultivating the perfect lawn. It is interesting to note that the lawn originated from Europe around the 1600’s. The cool mild, climate of Europe was conducive to grasses and various ground covers. The earliest lawns and grasses had practical applications and were used in and around medieval castles in Britain and France. The low ground cover provided guards and watchmen an unobstructed view of any approaching danger. The practical application of being able to ward off hostile enemies does not practically translate into the current western culture.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reports that landscaping and the maintenance of lawn, account for approximately 30% of all water use in the United States. Considering that lawns serve no practical purpose and are purely aesthetic in nature, it seems extravagant that such a precious resource is wasted on a hangover from the 16th century. With the increasing cost of transport and rising food prices it seems like a perfect time to reduce our lawns and start investing and or propagating native plants, fruit and nut trees, vegetables and other edible plants. Trees have much deeper root systems so don’t need as much watering, plus have the advantage of providing nutrient dense foods. If you do need to have lawn then here are some handy tips for minimising the use of water.

  • Water your lawn only when needed, most lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days.
  • Let the lawn grow. Having longer grass gives the lawn a chance to seed and protects the roots from drying out. A healthy lawn should be at least two to three inches in length.
  • Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips. Don’t water your lawn on windy days as most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  • To determine whether your lawn needs watering or not use this simple method as a test. Walk on the grass. If the lawn springs back up when you move, then it doesn’t need watering. If it flattens out and doesn’t rebound then the lawn needs some water.
  • Grasses, lawn and other organic materials are great for building soil composition and provide nutrients and fertiliser for gardens.

Some Practical Tips for Conserving Water Around the Home

There are hundreds if not thousands of different ways to save water, from efficient capture of rainwater in tanks, water saving devices, drip irrigation, through to simply being conscious about water usage. Here are a few basic tips to help save water around the home which may stimulate some ideas and help further your research on the subject.

Check for leaky faucets around home.    Use half flush system on toilets.    Take shorter showers.     Add less water to the bathtub.    If you have a pool put a cover on it when not in use.   Turn off water when brushing your teeth.     Water plants in the morning or evening.     Install a water tank.    Use a broom as opposed to a hose for cleaning outside surfaces.   Wash your car with a bucket.   Install faucet aerators.   Don’t defrost food using running water.  Wash up the old fashioned way by hand.   If using a dishwasher only use when it is completely fullInstall low flow shower heads.   Only wash clothes when the washing machine is full.   Reduce the amount of lawn in your backyard  Plant native plant species.    Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants. Grow your own food.   Eat less Meat.   Only purchase sustainably locally sourced products……

Remember every time you use water to be aware of how precious and scarce it actually is. In some countries people get by with as little as ten litres a day! So think about how you use water and the impacts of what you eat do and consumer have on this precious resource.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

CoverONENOVSources

Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

(1) Earth’s water distribution”. United States Geological Survey.

(2) Scientific Facts on Water: State of the Resource”. GreenFacts Website.

(3) Gleeson, Tom; Wada, Yoshihide; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H. (9 August 2012). “Water balance of global aquifers revealed by groundwater footprint”. Nature (488): 197–200.

(4) http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/book_files/pb4book.pdf

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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FBI Confirms Report of “Cylindrical” UFO “Moving Really Fast” Over New Mexico

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The FBI has now confirmed that they are aware of the American Airlines pilot's UFO report. They did not say they are officially investigating the incident any further. The incident remains a mystery.

  • Reflect On:

    The increase in UFO coverage and reporting in mainstream media is raising public awareness about how prominent and well documented the subject is. What does the reality of the UFO phenomenon mean to you? Does it change your worldview?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

On Sunday Feb. 21, 2021 a pilot on American Airlines flight 2292 from Cincinnati to Phoenix reported seeing a long cylindrical object fly very fast over New Mexico, reporting that it looked a lot like a cruise missile. Now, the FBI has confirmed that they are aware of the mysterious report but did not say whether they are investigating any further.

The pilots report, which can be heard here, went like this:

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us – I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing – moving really fast right over the top of us.”

Steve Douglass, an experienced radio interceptor, was the first to report on the incident and claimed he heard the pilot’s transmission while recording from his multiple scanners.

Initially, American Airlines did not confirm that they had information the incident had happened, but later on, they provided a different story to journalists at The Drive who pressed for more info.

American Airlines initial response:

“At this time, we do not have any indication the radio transmission was from the flight crew on board American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,” an airline rep told the outlet initially.

American Airlines updated response:

“Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received, we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,”

On Feb. 25th, a FBI spokesperson Frank Connor told Fox News in an email that:

“The FBI is aware of the reported incident, […] While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public. Anyone who is aware of suspicious or criminal activity should contact their local law enforcement agency or the FBI,”

The Federal Aviation Administration did release a short statement regarding the incident as well:

A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.

Up to this point this incident remains a mystery. It is unclear if further formal investigation is happening behind the scenes, but given what we’ve learned over our years of researching this subject, intelligence agencies tend to take these incidents significantly more seriously than they make the public aware of.

There has been a long term veil of secrecy surrounding the UFO phenomenon and only in recent years has the discussion turned more mainstream. It has been interesting to see further media publications pop up who are now taking this phenomenon a lot more seriously as well. This will continue to push this conversation into the mainstream over the course of time.

While it’s always intriguing to explore these new reports, there is decades of research and credible whistleblower testimony that fill in a great deal of ‘blanks’ when it comes to questions regarding the UFO and ET phenomenon. Indeed we know a lot more than what is being circulated in mainstream media at this time, and the phenomenon delves deeply into the field of consciousness research.

I recently received permission to release my full, raw, interview for the Dr. Steven Greer’s latest film ‘Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind.’ In it I cover my perspectives on discerning mainstream coverage of the UFO subject, the societal and cultural implications of the phenomenon, and what it means for humanity as a whole. You can watch the full interview exclusively on CETV.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Physicist, environmental activist and renowned author Dr. Vandana Shiva explains modern day global food and farming issues. There are links within the article to her very informative work.

  • Reflect On:

    When organic agriculture has shown to be the best way to feed the world, why do giant corporations insist on taking over and doing things their way? Why do they have so much sway over government policy?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a renowned author, environmental activist, and physicist. Shiva founded Navdanya, an international movement started 30 years ago in India to defend seed and food sovereignty and small farmers around the world.  Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving and seed freedom, which began in response to the crisis of erosion of agricultural biodiversity and introduction of GMOs and patents on seeds through intellectual property rights (IPRs) and so-called ‘free trade’ agreements. It has long fought against biopiracy, the patenting of indigenous knowledge by self-interested multinational corporations and won cases related to Neem, basmati rice and wheat in India. Navdanya promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm, a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. It aims at regaining the common good as a foundation for a renewed sense of community, solidarity and culture of peace.

In the last 30 years, Navdanya’s research on Biodiversity based Agro-ecological farming has shown how Agroecology can increase nutrition and health, as well as farmers incomes while rejuvenating soil, water and biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. They have a membership of more than 650,000 farmer families in 22 states of India. According to Navdanya:

The COVID public health crisis and its resulting economic devastation have accelerated calls to respond through the ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism through embracing the fourth industrial revolution. For food systems, this would mean a ‘food systems transformation’ where all areas of the food supply chain are further centralized, digitized, and mined for data in the false names of ‘public health’ and ‘economic recovery’. This push is now being supported by international organizations and world leaders who stand hand-in-hand with big corporations’ desires for further agrifood system concentration. This translated to a more aggressive push toward false solutions of farms managed through artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, precision farming, fake foods- such as lab-grown meat, synthetically produced oils, and breastmilk- robot pollinators, biofortification, gene drives for more advanced forms of GMOs, and digital sequencing genetic information (DSI) of agro-diversity.

They recently put out a very informative report titled “Gates to A Global Empire.” Be sure to check it out. I suggest you read a recent article written by Dr. Shiva (her twitter account) titled, “Indian farmers’ 30 year struggle against corporate globalisation and 40 year struggle against the green revolution.” Her books are also a great resource documenting the takeover of seed and the immoral and unethical actions of big corporations, like Monsanto, in India and all over the world.

The clip below is from 2019 but it’s still very informative.

 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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‘Big Short’ Investor Michael Burry Warns Central Governments Could Squash Bitcoin

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Well known hedge fund Michael Burry feels that Bitcoin could be squashed by the "legally violent, heartless central governments" who won't allow Bitcoin to stay decentralized.

  • Reflect On:

    Our societal structures, like the economy, are certainly in question as many continue to lose faith in them. Is the path towards a better future through cryptocurrency? Could humanity dream up a world without money?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

You might remember the famed hedge fund manager Michael Burry from the film ‘Big Short,’ his character was played by Christian Bale. He is best known for forecasting the 2008 financial crisis, and he made billions from that bet. In a recent tweet, Burry has suggested that governments could “squash” Bitcoin (BTC) in a coming inflationary crisis due to further pandemic stimulus.

Burry also feels that further regulation of the decentralized currency could hamper BTC’s performance in the long term. With one of the main motivations behind cryptocurrency’s like BTC being that they are intended to operate outside of government control and regulation, you can bet that the millions who invest in crypto intend that it stays that way – out of the governments reach.

In a now deleted series of Tweets, Michael Burry stated some intriguing opinions about Bitcoin and potential government interventions:

I don’t hate BTC. However, in my view, the long term future is tenuous for decentralized crypto in a world of legally violent, heartless centralized governments with lifeblood interests in monopolies on currencies. In the short run anything is possible – why I am not short BTC.

Burry claiming he is not ‘short’ on BTC means he is not betting that its price will fall significantly anytime soon.

One of the major reasons Burry feels governments could squash BTC is due to coming inflation as a result of more pandemic stimulus. “In an inflationary crisis, governments will move to squash competitors in the currency arena. $BTC #gold,” he said.  As you can sense by Burry’s words, he feels governments will do anything in their power to maintain control over their own currencies, and protect them at all costs, regardless whether it’s what benefits people most or not.

In his recent string of tweets he discussed Germany’s path to hyperinflation in the 1920s. He currently sees America’s economic trajectory to be similar to the post-World War I climate that eventually led to a 320% monthly inflation rate in the country.

If Burry is right about the upcoming inflation and the governments potential regulatory actions on BTC, this will be the 2nd time in recent years that he predicted a seismic shift in the US economy.

“People say I didn’t warn last time, I did, but no one listened. So I warn this time. And still, no one listens. But I will have proof I warned.” – Burry said in a tweet.

Modern Structures Are Failing

This inevitably brings up the discussion of our current way of life when thinking about our societal design. Does a capitalistic economy really create a world where people can thrive? Does it inspire big business and governments to think about people’s well being first? Or does it motivate them to think of profits first? Perhaps it’s our underlying worldview of competition and separation that causes us to create society in this manner? Either way, history over the last 30 years has shown us that financial crisis’ are happening at a faster rate, each time pushing more and more people into a lower socio-economic class while the few become richer. Aside from available spending money, think of how this affects people’s basic ability to survive and enjoy life.

COVID-19 served to make billionaires even bigger billionaires, while the average person struggles to get a job, feed their family and make basic payments. Is this a world we want to live in? Does this truly feel like what we’re capable of or are we being convinced to accept something because someone said so?

Are we really to support the idea that governments should regulate cryptocurrency, a means of exchange that is outside their control? What’s the motivation behind their regulation? As faith in our institutions crumbles year after year, is the culture within governance feeling their increasing loss of power over the people?

I don’t intend to write a lengthy piece deeply exploring the ins and outs of our economic model and why it’s not serving the people, I’ll save that for another time. I sense that the questions I’ve posed will already bring up thoughts and feelings within you that tend to ‘know’ our current ways aren’t working to help people thrive, perhaps that’s enough.

Where I’m curious to push the envelope a little further is in the question of why do we believe that we need currency and exchange to begin with? Why must our economies work the way we do? Have we really chosen to ask this question? Or have we accepted the limited and dishonest historical belief that “we tried everything else and this is best?”

A radical idea to consider I know, but one I invite you to imagine for just a moment. Given all the the incredible technology we have available to us today, can we really not imagine a society where money is not required? Given the emerging information in post material science that is telling us a different story about the nature of humans, can we honestly say we are simply competitive and warring animals still?

For just a moment, set aside the judgements someone might cast upon you for considering that we could live in a world without money, things like “that’s socialism!” or  “That’s communism!” If you were tasked with the project of coming up with a way to live in our world without money, how might it look? How would we go about creating that type of community?

Aside from what we’re commonly told, human beings are incredible, with extraordinary abilities to connect, build community and solve problems. If we changed the conversation from “that’s never going to be possible” to “how might we actually go about doing this?” that innocent little shift allows us to be open, sense possibility and activate our creativity, even if it means we aren’t going to take action right away.

I’ve been doing this sort of work and asking these questions my whole life – professionally for 13 years – I don’t hold the naive position that all of this can just happen on its own or that we don’t require deep questioning of our current worldview, I recognize all of this is necessary. What I am saying though is, if we don’t begin to think and explore down this path, we can’t ever make things ‘better.’

So what are you choosing to do? Accept the world as it is today? Or are you open to imagining a world where people can truly thrive?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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