Have you ever wanted to escape the rat race and live a simpler less consumerist life?
Have you ever wanted to be free and live a more meaningful life away from all the distractions? Ever wanted to step out of your comfort zone and explore what it means to live in community? This is what nine people did over the course of 2015 in rural Gippsland Australia. Nine people from different walks of life came together as part of a year long project to explore what it means to demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to the global crisis.
Many people believe that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but this community has discovered that the exact opposite is true. Gone are many of the conveniences and accessories of present-day civilization, in its place is the truest form of a social network. Some left drudging 40-hour work weeks spent in the service of large and faceless corporations. In their new reality, they find everything they need in the natural world that surrounds them in every direction and through the support they find in their fellow co-inhabitants.
Our energy intensive, resource rich, consumer lifestyles have been responsible for eradicating species at an alarming rate: deforestation on a scale never seen before, over exploitation of many of the earth’s natural resources, and the accumulation of toxins throughout the environment. While many are pinning their hopes on the idea that technology will save us, it is worth considering simplicity as a solution to the many challenges the world faces. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” or Bertrand Russell’s sentiment, “It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
What Does it Mean to Live Simply?
For this diverse group of conscientious citizens, it means that you reconnect to the natural world, conserve your resources, and peel back the extravagances, economic shackles, and unsustainable definitions of success in the modern industrialized world. In their tiny homes, hand-crafted from largely recycled materials, they seek the purity that comes from a return to the basics. Throughout the year the group built tiny houses, planted veggie gardens, practised simple living, and learned how to live in community.
This film is the product of hundreds of hours of footage shot by Jordan Osmond from Happen Films, who documented the community over 12 months. This is the first feature film made by Jordan in conjunction with the ‘Simplicity Institute’ and Samuel Alexander with a budget of just $11, 260— all of it crowdfunded by generous supporters. The full length feature is available for FREE to watch on YouTube (see link below). For those who want to get a quick taste of A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity you can watch the trailer here.
Before we can move to a simpler way of life, we must let go of our idea that happiness and indeed any kind of meaningful satisfaction can be gained by consumption. We must understand that our standard of living and our quality of life are very different creatures. Our quality of life doesn’t depend on consumption and the attainment of wealth. Being conscious of how we spend our money, what we eat, how we commute, and where we live, has implications for our Mother Earth and impacts each and every one of us. Check out the full length feature A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity and follow each step of this fascinating year-long journey.
Sources: Happen Films https://www.youtube.com/user/happenfilms
Excerpts also taken from Rethink…Your world, Your future.
The Congressional Hearing On Weather Manipulation – Another ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Turned Into Fact
- The Facts:
Geoengineering (weather modification) is hitting the mainstream hard as a potential response to climate change. Congressional hearings and more are all taking place, but there is evidence to suggest that spraying has already been happening.
- Reflect On:
All of the evidence showing it's been happening for a long time. Are they really spraying to combat climate change, or could there be some other reason these programs are taking place? The article goes into more detail.
Geoengineering is becoming a common term within the mainstream. We’ve covered the topic many times over the past 10 years. The last article we wrote on the topic was about a Harvard Professor explaining how spraying heavy metals in the sky could possibly kill or contribute to the deaths of tens of thousands of people every single year. Prior to that, we wrote about an experiment at MIT where they were going to spray toxic particles into the sky to reflect the sunlight away from Earth, and before that, we covered the then CIA director’s comments regarding his support for Geoengineering. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Discussions about it have been ongoing for a very long time, and there are dozens of examples to choose from when conveying this information to the public.
A Few Examples
Here’s a video of popular physicist Michio Kaku speaking on weather modification.
A United States government document printed at the request of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in November of 1978 states:
In addition to specific research programs sponsored by Federal agencies, there are other functions related to weather modification which are performed in several places in the executive branch. Various federal advisory panels and committees and their staffs – established to conduct in-depth studies and prepare comprehensive reports, to provide advice or recommendations, or to coordinate Federal weather modification programs – have been housed and supported within executive departments, agencies, or offices.
A 1996 report conducted by top military personnel in the U.S, titled “Weather as a Force Multiplier; Owning the Weather in 2025,” reveals the supposed urgency to implement these programs:
In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.
There is enormous evidence to suggest that these programs have already been operational for years:
“In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.” – World Meteorological Association (source)
The question is, have they really been spraying to combat global warming? And if so, why didn’t they just tell us?
International Community Speaks Out
The international community has spoken out against weather modification. Several global politicians, like Hugo Chavez, have also accused the United States of using weather manipulation for warfare purposes, specifically referencing the Haiti Earthquake.
HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud said geoengineering is the west’s “weapon of mass destruction.”
So, as you can see, this has been an issue for a while. Unfortunately, it’s doesn’t really become an ‘issue’ until it’s presented within the mainstream. Now, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Geoengineering Goes Mainstream
At the end of last year, this is what happened in US politics concerning geoengineering:
As the nation continues to grapple with historic flooding and wildfires, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) has introduced legislation to explore innovative options to combat the root cause of these intensifying natural disasters: climate change.
Last month, Congressman McNerney called for a hearing in the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology (SST) to collect information from experts in the field of geoengineering – which implements techniques to counteract the effects of climate change. Today, the Congressman has introduced H.R. 4586, the Geoengineering Research Evaluation Act. This legislation would provide for a federal commitment to the creation of a geoengineering research agenda and an assessment of the potential risks of geoengineering practices. (source)
The quote comes from Jerry McNerney’s website. He was one of the multiple people present at the recent congressional hearing called “Geoengineering: Innovation, Research, and Technology.” Many people were in attendance. The gist of the hearing was basically full support of geoengineering protocols, as one of the opening statements read:
Many of the concepts in this field deal with solar radiation management, or how to influence the effects of the sun on the earth. But the field is by no means limited to solar research. Geoengineering can also be used to manipulate different levels of gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide. These avenues of geoengineering research and others are still in the developmental stage, and any or all of them may warrant further exploration. While there are at least a few programs in our nation’s universities that are looking into these concepts, federal research is still limited. However, if in the future the government wants to actually apply the concepts and findings of geoengineering research, we must fully examine both the potential merits and potential pitfalls of this emergent field.
They don’t really mention the techniques of solar radiation management, but they well know. For example, SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) is a United Kingdom government-funded geoengineering research project that collaborates with the University of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol to further examine the idea of Solar Radiation Management.
Their key ingredient candidate particles include:
- Sulphate/Sulphuric Acid/Sulphur Dioxide
- Silicon Carbide
- Calcium Carbonate
- Zinc Oxide
You can watch the full hearing below.
There are multiple publications that raised concerns over the damage that “chemtrails” have already done. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and public health states,
The widespread, intentional and increasingly frequent chemical emplacement in the troposphere has gone unidentified and unremarked in the scientific literature for years. The author presents evidence that toxic coal combusion fly as is the most likely aerosolized particulate spraed by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes and descries some of the multifold consequences on public health”
After going through the peer-review process and being approved for publication, it was retracted; but the same author has published several others that have not been. Here’s another example.
There are many ‘academics’ creating awareness about this. Another example would be Michel Chossudovsky, who is the University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics and has worked directly with governments on various geopolitical issues. He has been very outspoken against weather modification and the long history of its use.
He makes some great points in an article he wrote on his website:
The significant expansion in America’s weather warfare arsenal, which is a priority of the Department of Defense is not a matter for debate or discussion. While environmentalists blame the Bush administration for not having signed the Kyoto protocol, the issue of “weather warfare”, namely the manipulation of weather patterns for military use, is never mentioned.
The US Air Force has the capability to manipulate climate either for testing purposes or for outright military-intelligence use. These capabilities extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes.
Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, … and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power. (Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report, http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/ . Emphasis added)
You can access some more of our articles on Geo-Engineering by clicking here.
It’s going to be interesting to see where this all goes. We haven’t heard much in 2018, but will keep you posted for 2019.
Wisconsin Loses More Than 300 Dairy Farms (2nd Largest Dairy Producing State In America)
- The Facts:
Because of the decline in the consumption of milk and dairy products, dozens of dairy farms are being forced to close down their doors.
- Reflect On:
This is happening because of a growing awareness and concern for animal welfare, environmental protection and a more thorough understanding of health. We have the power to create the type of world we want to live in. Vote with your dollar.
The second largest dairy producing state in the US, Wisconsin had 338 dairy farms close their doors this year, according to the media outlet, Dairy Herd Management, among many others, like Mercy For Animals.
Wisconsin has also been known as America’s Dairyland and was home to 9,520 dairy farms last year, but because of a growing decline in the consumption of dairy milk, the state is seeing a record number of farms closing down. Since this time last year, in fact, the rate of closures have increased by 30 percent.
International dairy company, Arla foods announced that it would end its contracts with 11 dairy farms in Wisconsin due to “increased production and market volatility.”
Although this is a major loss for the dairy industry of Wisconsin, they aren’t the only ones who are finding it difficult to stay in business. In general, the demand for milk and dairy products are declining at a rapid pace, these closures are happening all over the United States. The countries third largest dairy producer, New York has had more than 60 dairy farms close down over the past 40 years.
Even America’s largest dairy company, Dean Foods recently announced the closure of a factory in Illinois due to a decline in consumption. Dean Foods also issued a notice to dozens more dairy suppliers that it would not be renewing their contracts because the lack of demand had caused an overproduction of milk.
The USDA reported in 2013 that dairy consumption has been on the decline for decades, as each new generation consumes less milk than the generation before. Since 1970, CBS New York reported that the consumption of fluid milk has fallen 37 percent.
So, Why Aren’t We Consuming As Much Milk?
As more and more awareness grows in regards to the health implications of consuming too much dairy, the treatment of dairy cows and the environmental concerns around creating the space not only to hold these animals but also to grow the food to feed, more activism and change will occur, and lifestyle changes as well. There are many milk alternatives available on the market today and nut milks are also incredibly easy to make yourself. Aside from just milk, we are also seeing a wide variety of dairy-free alternatives to cheese and yogurt too.
There is also calcium found in an abundance of foods!
Agribusiness giant, Cargill conducted a survey which revealed that half of US dairy consumers also use vegan alternatives. As a result of this, the American dairy industry is losing a large portion of its business.
It would appear that those clever, “got milk?” ads are no longer succeeding in tricking us into believing that “Milk does a body good,” or that we need it to be strong and healthy.
Related CE Article regarding the science of milk consumption:
What About The Loss Of Business & Jobs For Farmers?
While in some ways it is unfortunate for these dairy farmers to lose their business and shut down their doors, others have clearly seen this issue as an opportunity to rise to the occasion and adapt to these changes. Take Dannon for example, who is famous for their yogurt made from cows milk, recently they invested nearly $60 million in a plant-based beverage facility in Mount Crawford Virginia. Stonyfield dropped their brand, which sold animal-based dairy products. Earlier this year we also saw, Elmhurst Dairy from Queens, New York close down their dairy making doors after 90 years in business and switch over to exclusively nut-based milk.
As dairy consumption continues to decline, farmers have no choice but to go out of business or to turn over to other industries. In 2017 a report issued by the Plant-Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute showed a 20 percent increase in one year in purchases of dairy alternatives which included vegan cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, accounting for over $700 million in sales.
Compassion For All
The drastic decline in dairy consumption across America is great news for dairy cows, who are generally treated as nothing more than milk-producing machines, forcibly impregnated, have their babies taken away from them at birth and are kept in unsanitary living conditions. By ditching dairy, you are taking a stand for these sentient beings and telling these corporations that you do not support or condone these business practices. If the demand for dairy continues to decline, we can expect farmers to use more humane practices to raise their cattle with.
This is just another fine example of how awareness creates change, and by spreading this kind of information and making informed choices we are changing an entire industry, and thus, changing the world as we know it.
Great Solutions To Cut Plastic Out Of Your Life — For Good
- The Facts:
Plastic is polluting our environment and our oceans. It is up to us to do our part to protect our planet. Below are some simple ways you can get started.
- Reflect On:
Reflet on your own plastic use, and on why we are still manufacturing these products when greater more harmonious products are available, there are several, like Hemp.
By now, most of us are aware of the harm that plastics are causing to our environment and our oceans. Thankfully, many cities are becoming proactive on the matter and banning the use of single-use plastic bags, and some even take it farther by banning single-use plastic of any kind altogether. Hopefully soon, we will have no choice because plastic as we know it, will be a thing of the past — we can only hope, right?
If you’d like to get ahead of the game, there are some very simple ways you can begin to cut plastic from your life today. While it may seem difficult at first there are alternatives to pretty much everything that comes wrapped in plastic. The thing is, we often are simply unaware of how much plastic we are actually consuming and because the waste is out of sight out of mind, we tend not to question where it ends up.
If you don’t think you consume that much plastic, I would strongly encourage you to hold on the all of the plastic that you would otherwise recycle or throw away for one week. This will give you a visual representation of what you are consuming, and perhaps after this, you may be willing to do something about it.
Great, now let’s get started.
Reusable Coffee Cups, Water Bottles, Take Out Containers & Cutlery
Really, the heading speaks for itself. There are a huge variety of reusable food and beverage containers out there, remembering to carry these with you might seem like a little bit more effort at first, but when you can sleep at night knowing you did your part to protect our planet, I’m sure you’ll begin to see the value. An added bonus here is that many coffee shops and restaurants will offer discounts if you bring your own takeout cups or containers in and you can save money by opting out of purchasing bottled water and refilling your reusable bottle at a filling station. Of course, glass and stainless steel options are ideal, as they last longer and if they break they can always be melted down and reutilized for something else. You could also just have your coffee at the cafe as well.
This is a given. Many grocery stores are opting out of carrying these types of bags altogether and encouraging the use of reusable bags before paper ones. To take this a step further, opt for bag made from cotton or hemp as they will last longer and can be used for something else if they were to break or wear out. There are even reusable produce bags available that can also be used for bulk items.
Say No To Straws
Think about it, do you really need a straw? It’s simple to turn down straws at restaurants, but if you just can’t get past the concept of sipping from a glass — well, they make reusable straws too. There are many varieties available, made from glass, bamboo, stainless steel and silicon. Bring it next time you go out and remind your server or cashier that you brought your own and you won’t be needing one. You never know, you may just be inspiring your friends by leading the way to a straw free world.
Make Your Own Condiments & Dressings
Think of all the condiment bottles that you potentially have in your fridge right now, chances are most are packed in plastic. While you can opt for glass alternatives you can also easily make your own. There are tons of recipes for homemade condiments available online. Not only can you ensure the reduction of plastic, but by making your own you can avoid chemicals, artificial sweeteners and preservatives which means it is better for the environment, and you!
Hold Back On Online Shopping
Just 1-click away, it’s so easy these days to get pretty much anything you want on the world wide web, but if you have ordered online before then you are probably already aware of how wasteful it can be. A single battery might be shipped in a large box containing copious amounts of plastic — this is beyond wasteful. This is also a great opportunity to support local businesses and keep the money in the local economy.
Support Businesses That Are Zero Waste
Yes! This is possible, many businesses are doing their part to drastically cut back their waste of even become zero waste, by only offering recyclable or compostable products and eliminating their trash altogether. Of course, this may be more accessible if you are living in a bigger city, but you can encourage your local coffee shops and restaurants to consider it and start something big in your small town.
Lead By Example
By choosing to opt out of plastic and having your alternatives ready you are inspiring those around you to see that there are other options and that we can all do our part to make a huge impact. At first sure, people might give you a raised eyebrow look, but then they may just walk away reflecting on their actions and what they can do to make a difference.
We can all do our part! It’s up to each one of us to take responsibility for our own lives and do what we can to protect our planet.
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