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One Of Many Examples Showing How Transitioning To A New World Has Already Begun!

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As the old guard and corporate oligarchy struggle to maintain the status quo, there is a grass roots movement which is getting on with the business of change. While politicians squabble, make poor choices, and offer few solutions, the “Transition Movement” is quietly but surely spreading across the globe. From Toronto to Vancouver, from Auckland to Sydney, from Brixton (UK) to Berkeley California, from Portugal to Brussels, the Transition Movement has grown from 400 registered towns in 2008 to over 1200 in late 2014, spanning 43 countries.

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What are Transition Towns?

The Transition Network is a charitable organization whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support, and train communities as they self-organize around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild local community resilience and reduce environmental impacts. Peterborough is a city of around 80,000 people on the Otonabee River in Central Ontario, Canada, 125 kilometres (78 mi) northeast of Toronto. The Transition Town Peterborough website explains concisely the goals typical of the Transition movement. Transition Town Peterborough (TTP) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization focused on reducing our community-wide dependence on fossil fuels while increasing local resilience and self-sufficiency in food, water, energy, culture, and wellness with economic localization.(1)

How the Movement Started

The transition concept emerged from the work of Rob Hopkins and his students at Kinsale Further Education College in the UK. With a background in permaculture design, Hopkins and his students looked at the challenges of shifting social, environmental, and economic conditions to develop a blueprint for communities to move forward. Hopkins wrote the “Transition Handbook” in 2008 which has become a revered reference tool for the movement.

While the Transition model is not a cure all, it does offer some wonderful practical suggestions and solutions for moving communities forward with a clear direction and purpose. Hopkins argues, “it’s the opposite of us sitting in our armchairs complaining about what’s wrong. Instead, it’s about getting up and doing something constructive about it alongside our neighbours and fellow townsfolk. And people tell us that as a result of being involved in their local ‘transition initiative,’ they’re happier, their community feels more robust and they have made a lot of new friends.”(2)

Why is it Such an Important Movement?

The key driver behind the Transition Movement is that it focuses on what the world might look like in the future “if we get it right” – then works out backwards how to get there. The Transition movement runs events, conferences, training, blogs, and webinars, as well as producing monthly newsletters, books, films, guides, and tweets, all with the intention of supporting those around the world who are doing Transition.

The movement offers practical, real world solutions, which have a twofold effect. Firstly, it aims to explore how to redesign our local systems so that basic needs such as food, water, energy, trade, housing, culture, and health are dependably sourced as locally as possible at all times. The movement addresses all aspects of life – social, economic, environmental, spiritual /psychological – which are being profoundly challenged by the unfolding of the environmental crisis, economic upheaval, and resource depletion.(2) Secondly, by exploring these more locally based solutions, many of the broader environmental challenges are also addressed. Many of the problems that have emerged from globalization, such as the transfer of capital to an elite class, unsustainable long distance supply chains, and energy intense industries and agriculture are reassessed. Farming practices more in line with permaculture principles are designed to move away from large agribusiness industrial models.

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The Great Reskilling

The Transition Movement also fosters reskilling. Since the 1960’s there has been a gradual demise of common skills essential for survival and providing one’s everyday needs. Skills which were commonplace back in the 1940’s and 50’s such as how to garden, repair things, and generally make do with little, have dwindled significantly. Today most people are completely dependent upon supermarkets and long supply chains for their survival. With Greece in tatters and tens of thousands of people lacking access to basic necessities such as food and water, it is a reminder of just how vulnerable modern Western society has become. Having the skills and knowledge to be self-reliant is at the cornerstone of the Transition Movement. As well as providing the skills to help people live more resilient lives, Transition Towns is about creating networks and alliances which are valuable in bringing individuals and other organizations together.

To find out where the nearest Transition Town is to you visit: CLICK HERE

 Article by Andrew Martin, author of  Rethink…Your world, Your future.

RethinkcoverCE2Source: excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) http://www.transitiontownpeterborough.ca/

(2) https://www.transitionnetwork.org/support/what-transition-initiative

(3) https://www.transitionnetwork.org/support/what-transition-initiative

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Extinction Rebellion: What Can We Take From Their 3 Areas of Focus?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Extinction Rebellion may not have all their facts straight about climate change but they are an organized movement with a focus. Let's have a look at what may be going on here.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you feel about the ideas of having to tackle our current political system and economic system before creating any meaningful change? Are these important to address first?

Have you heard about the biggest grassroots rebellion against the broken economic system, decaying democracy and exploitative mainstream media since Occupy Wall Street?

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an eco-activist movement founded in the UK by molecular biophysicist Dr. Gail Bradbrook, along with environmental activist Roger Hallamwho studied a PhD in civil disobedience at King’s College London.

Galvanizing supporters at the 49th Glastonbury festival, Dr Gail Bradbrook explained:

“[Extinction Rebellion] is not a protest. It is not a campaign. It is a rebellion. We are in active rebellion against our government. The social contract is broken, the governments aren’t protecting us and it’s down to us now.”

On Monday 7th October 2019, more than 50,000 environmentalists “devoted to disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience in protest against ecological collapse” descended on London to shut the city center down, and the movement is global.

XR groups in more than 60 major cities around the world released their plans to peacefully occupy key locations in their cities, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Rome, Prague, Bratislava, Dublin, Budapest, and many many more.

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They are aiming for eventual critical mass in all countries, which XR points out is “the involvement of 3.5% of the population to succeed – in the UK that’s about 2 million people” based on the research by Erica Chenoweth.

The Background

The movement began on 31st October 2018 when 1,500 XR supporters assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government.

Over the next few weeks, 6,000 converged on London to peacefully block five major bridges across the Thames, planting trees in the middle of Parliament Square, and digging a hole to bury a coffin representing humanity’s future.

On their website it continues:

“Our actions generated huge national and international publicity and, as news spread, our ideas connected with tens of thousands of people around the world.”

On 15th April 2019, XR’s International Rebellion was launched in over 80 cities across at least 33 countries with organized protests blocking roads all across London.

The Guardian reported that those arrested would be prosecuted, and linked XR’s comment “We are asking the police and legal system to concentrate on issues such as knife crime, and not non-violent protesters who are trying to save our planet” with “Stop bothering us non-violent protesters; focus instead on those frightening inner-city neighbourhoods, where black children carry knives,” attempting to plant seeds that XR are racist.

The Media

Members of XR have been described as ecomaniacs (Daily Mail), ecoradicals ignoring our economic doom (Times), dangerousa bloody mess (Telegraph), and costing Scotland Yard £16m (Daily Mail).

XR received much more newspaper coverage the weekend before the launch of October rebellion, with the campaign promising disruption to emergency care (Telegraph) thanks to the “eco zealots’ blueprint for mayhem” – an article the Daily Mail originally and baselessly called: “Extinction Rebellion ‘will stop the Queen’s Speech’ as it reveals its battle plan to stop London.”

The Daily Mail even gloated “At Last!” as Police took preemptive action and raided a warehouse, arresting ten people and confiscating XR equipment.

XR quickly responded that “this is not a surprise” and “we already have all we need,” citing Richard Ecclestone, one of many former police officers who have joined XR:

“These tactics are very questionable and are arguably infringing on our rights to peaceful protest,” Ecclestone argues, and the UK Shadow Minister of State for Policing, Louise Haigh, agrees.

The Strategy

The mainstream media, of course, ignores the cause of the protests (the fear of ecological collapse due to a politically corrupt system), and instead focuses on demonizing XR, but the fact that XR are receiving so much negative press, rather than being ignored, means that someone high up is concerned about what this movement could potentially mean.

What makes XR different from other climate change movements is that this movement has a clear focus on the problems and the solutions they require.

On the XR website, 3 areas are identified as the “symptoms of this toxic system”:

  • A debt- and interest-based, deregulated finance sector.
  • A fake and decaying democracy.
  • A media captured to the interests of exploitative rich people and corporations.

XR identify 3 key areas that need to change in order “to create a world fit for the next seven generations to live in”:

  • A democracy where people have real agency in decision making by devolving power to the level closest to people and communities.
  • An economy designed to maximize well-being for all people and minimize harm to each other, our fellow creatures and our home planet.
  • Creating a healthy, resilient and adaptable regenerative culture that can “heal and improve .. on all levels, including individuals, communities, our soil, water and air.”

The Bill For Parliament

XR working groups around the UK, in consultation with the campaign group Power for People, drafted a bill for the UK parliament (a proposal to significantly change current law).

The Bill demands that the UK Prime Minister declare a climate and ecological emergency, and establishes a citizens assembly.

500 to 1000 people should be randomly selected from across the country, and the process must be designed to ensure that the Assembly reflects the UK “in terms of characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, education level and geography.”

The Spiritual Calling

The organizers of the movement also clearly have an understanding of spirituality, ideas like self-discovery and self-improvement.

XR emphasize “ongoing questioning, reflection and learning” and getting out of our comfort zones because “We have a duty to disobey this system which destroys life on earth and is deeply unjust.”

XR refer to indigenous cultures as inspiration, stating XR “is a rebellion against the heartless, loveless and lifeless delusion of seeing Earth as dead matter,” instead seeing humanity as “earth-guardians” and “nature defending itself.”

XR state they are beyond activism alone and always seeking new ways to support positive change, which may include “ceremony and prayer (in ways that are neither dogmatic nor expected) as formats to find inspiration from things bigger than ourselves.”

“We are about political change,” they continue, “not personal change (though we welcome the latter).”

The Takeaway

This movement may not have all the facts concerning climate change covered here at CE, but it is the first globally organized movement to connect a broken economic system with the need for higher spiritual values like their vision of “a new world of love, respect and regeneration.”

It seems that XR have potential beyond that of Occupy Wall Street to raise a global movement, mainly because they have a clear focus on serious deep rooted problems and, more importantly, a clear strategy for positive change.

Furthermore, the reaction in the media demonstrates that it is causing concern among those wishing to keep GDP going and business running as usual.

Of course, those in power are never going to devolve it freely, but this shift in consciousness as people marry social activism with purpose and spirituality will only continue to evolve.

It has many names, such as The Great Turning, The Great Awakening, Conscious Evolution and Sacred Activism, and in a recent podcast with Russell Brand, XR founder Dr. Gail Bradbrook confirms this shift in consciousness in scientific terms, called Spiral Dynamics.

Whatever happens next, this latest example is just another sign that the global, solutions-focused movement and humanity’s conscious, collective evolution is most definitely underway.

——

Article by Wake Up World Education founder, Robito Chatwin.

WUWE explores today’s personal and global problems (criticality) & today’s solutions to these problems (wellness), and is taking Wellness Training global (blog).

Sign up for the latest from WUWE, an academic, science-supported, online educational platform that anyone can use to increase health and happiness.

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America’s Largest Milk Producer Files For Bankruptcy – Cow’s Milk Is Inhumane & Unhealthy

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Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dean foods, the largest milk producer in the United States has filed for bankruptcy.

  • Reflect On:

    Independent media and activists around the world do have the ability to make change, and this is one of many examples. The world is waking up, even in the face of massive censorship of information. We are more powerful than we know.

Dean Foods, the largest milk company in the United States has recently filed for bankruptcy. The reason? Because Americans, and people all of the world for that matter, are not drinking as much cow’s milk as they used to. Brands that seem to be growing and having success are the ones who are now offering dairy free options.  Oat milk, for example, saw U.S. sales rise 636% to more than $52 million over the past year, according to Nielsen data. Sales of cow’s milk dropped 2.4% in that same time frame.

Chief Executive Officer, Eric Beringause stated: “We continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption.” He’s right, the demand for cow’s milk has dropped nearly 50 percent since 1975.

So, why are people doing this? Well, it’s happening for a number of reasons. First of all, the industry is full of animal cruelty. Cow’s are forcefully impregnated so they can produce milk, and their babies are taken from them for beef so the milk can be drained from the cow so humans can drink it. This causes tremendous heartache. Cows are living in poor conditions where they constantly suffer both emotionally and physically. Furthermore, they can often be abused by workers, but the conditions they live in on factory farms is already seen as abusive to many.

Not only are we starting to become aware that our milk-drinking habit is one of the most cruel industries that exists on Earth,  we are realizing waking up to the fact that 80 percent of the Amazon rainforest destruction is the result of grazing animals for meat and dairy production. It’s one of the main sources of environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. It is destroying our Earth, and the waste is polluting our environment and waterways at an alarming rate. 90 percent of soy used, which is also creating massive amounts of deforestation, is used for animal feed, not humans. So, animal product consumption is clearly the biggest factor when it comes to deforestation and environmental degradation, yet there doesn’t seem to be enough emphasis put on it like there is for C02. Why?

When it comes to the health aspects, I remember being in shock when I came to the realization that we were the only animal on the planet who drank the milk of another animal. Furthermore, we are the only species on the planet that drinks milk after weaning.

There are multiple studies showing that drinking milk from a cow leads to an increased mortality rate and actually makes bones more prone to fracturing, not less. One example would be this giant study from researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. How ironic is this given the fact that milk has always been marketed to humans as necessary from strong bone health?  Calcium is available in high quantities in a number of planet, how come we weren’t marketed with that?

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One thing milk protein does is trigger metabolic acidosis. This happens when the body produces too much acid and becomes very acidic, which can be caused by multiple things, including the absorption of casein found in animal protein. Casein makes up almost 90 percent of the protein in a cow’s milk. When the body experiences this type of acidosis, it actually forces the body to compensate by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. This became known to me through the work of Dr. Colin Campbell, an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Scholars like Campbell are vital to the world, because they are among the few who actually examine and study nutrition and health, something that our modern day medical industry completely ignores. You can watch a video of him explaining, here.

Dr. Campbell also discovered that animal protein (casein) can accelerate and “turn on” cancer, while plant based protein has the opposite effect. You can read more about that and which him explain in this article.

If we look at all other animals who don’t consume the milk of another animal or after weaning, it is because they do not have the enzymes to break down the sugar found in milk. We are no different, and this explains why in some ethnic populations around the world, lactose intolerance is present in 90 percent of the population. A staggering 70 percent of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance.

Humans actually never had this enzyme, and to digest the sugar in cow’s milk, we had to develop the LTC gene, which was acquired by mutation. This is the lactase gene, which allows us to process lactose as adults. Clearly, we are not doing what is natural and in accordance with our bodies. I first came across this information from Katherine S. Pollard, a PhD at the University of California, San Francisco, in this lecture.

That being said, some people might have evolved and developed on cows milk just fine, which is why this information may not apply to everybody but overall, it definitely appears we are doing something unnatural.

More doctors are waking up, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning.

The petition states:

High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Components in dairy such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and other growth hormones may be among the reasons for the increased risk for cancer.

To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products.

The list goes on and on, what’s presented in this article is simply a tidbit with regards to why big milk is going out of business. People are waking up.

When it comes to health and cruelty, it’s not just dairy, it’s also meat-eating as well. It’s very in-humane, not all that healthy, and is also destroying our planet.

You can read this article for more information about that: Another Study Suggests That Human Beings Are Not Designed To Eat Meat

The Takeaway

It’s great to see the dairy industry forcing to transition, although there is still a long way to go, it’s quite clear through the efforts of various forms of activism around the world that more people are becoming more empathetic, compassionate, and caring about our treatment of animals and the planet. These are qualities our world certainly needs more of. In conjunction with  the massive amount of animal cruelty that’s being exposed, awareness with regards to the health and environmental consequences of consuming dairy are also skyrocketing.

We are more powerful than we know, and at any time, if we come together, we can change the game big time.

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Alternative News

IKEA Plans To Switch From Styrofoam Packaging To A Mushroom-Based Alternative

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Styrofoam is harmful to our planet, which is why it's great to see IKEA switching all styrofoam packaging products to a compostable mushroom-based alternative.

  • Reflect On:

    If more sustainable options exist why wouldn't we implement them now? As consumers we have a say in creating the type of world we want to live in.

The cat’s out of the bag, by now the vast majority of us are aware that Styrofoam is bad for our environment as it doesn’t decompose and, in its production process, leaches toxic chemicals into our environment. Yet, despite this awareness, it is still being used on a massive scale to package anything from your new flat screen TV to your late night sushi rolls. As consumers we can choose to either support the companies that are contributing to the waste epidemic on our planet — or not.

Thankfully, as awareness grows, some large corporations like furniture giant IKEA are leading the way and choosing more sustainable and harmonious products. No doubt these sustainable options will appeal more to the conscious consumer and even though we can’t be clear as to whether or not these decisions are being made because of a general concern for our environment or because of growing consumer awareness, it doesn’t really matter because, regardless of the why, things are shifting for the better.

Compostable Alternative

Ikea has announced that they will be looking to switch all of their packaging materials from Styrofoam to a new substance called MycoComposite, which is made out of mushrooms and other organic materials. This material is entirely natural and compostable; it grows within a week and will decompose within 30 days. It can also be reused if it is kept dry.

This was a product we wrote about 7 years ago! And here it is today, finally getting the attention it deserves.

The process to create this packaging material is quite simple really–from Intelligent Living:

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  • Agricultural byproducts such as hemp, husk, oat hulls, and cotton burrs are pressed into the desired shape that can fit around items as packaging.
  • Then, it is seeded with mushroom spores that sprout mycelium (a root structure) after a few days.
  • The mycelium threads rapidly through the structure and binds it together to form a shock-resistant and durable packaging material.
  • The last step is to heat-treat the material to kill spores in order to arrest further growth of the fungus.

Mushroom-based packaging uses only about 12% of the energy that is used in plastic production and produces 90% fewer carbon emissions than plastic/Styrofoam production. Non-petroleum-based packaging is just another step towards ending our reliance on fossil fuels; there are plenty of alternative options available, we just need to look. In some cases we simply need to put on our thinking caps, we are a creative, problem-solving species and no doubt there are much more harmonious alternatives for many of our current processes.

The SWOT Analysis below conveys the advantage that Mushroom based materials has over plastic.

Strengths

  • Biodegradable
  • Easily grown from agricultural waste products which are plentiful
  • Strong, lightweight, mouldable
  • Produced using less energy
  • No waste or pollution from the process itself
  • Inexpensive
  • No health risks

Weakness

  • Takes longer to produce than most plastics
  • Less variability and range of products can be produced
  • Not as fire resistant/good as Styrofoam

Opportunities

  • Replace plastic products as a socially and environmentally safe alternative
  • Research is ongoing to improve and create more products
  • Community development through GIY initiatives

Threats

  • Compete against already strongly established plastic dependence (suppliers, manufactures, buyers)
  • Opposition to fungus grown product, misinformed views

One Small Step Towards Massive Change

Just think for a moment, not even just about the hundreds of IKEA stores worldwide, but consider all the big box retailers like Amazon and ALL OF THE STYROFOAM packaging that is being used and where all of that ends up. The fact that technology even exists for us to use a compostable alternative should leave the other substances completely behind. Because why would we continue using materials that are harmful for our planet if working alternatives already exist? That’s a whole other topic, and I’m sure you already know all about the why.

IKEA’s Head of Sustainability, Joanna Yarrow, said this was the retailer’s “small yet significant step towards reducing waste and conserving ecological balance.”

Another Ikea spokesperson told The Telegraph, “IKEA wants to have a positive impact on people and planet, which includes taking a lead in turning waste into resources, developing reverse material flows for waste materials and ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled. IKEA has committed to take a lead in reducing its use of fossil-based materials while increasing its use of renewable and recycled materials.”

Yes, it may be a small step, but just think of how big this step really is, and we can only hope that other retailers will follow in the footsteps of IKEA. Maybe it goes without saying, but we do have a say in the matter. If other retailers aren’t willing to give up their use of Styrofoam, then we can choose to shop elsewhere, and if enough people do the same, then these other retailers will have no choice but to change their ways. This is why raising awareness is so important.

Much Love

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