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#2637 - Wednesday,
November 8, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Nondual Highlights
"We are part of the
earth and the earth is part of us.
The air is precious. It shares its spirit with all the life it
The wind that gave me my first breath also received my last sigh.
This we know: the earth does not belong to us. We belong to the
The earth is our mother. What befalls the earth befalls all the
sons and daughters of the earth.
All things are connected like the blood that unites us.
We did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves"
This past weekend, we attended the American Conservation Film Festival. There were many films, and I would like to tell you about some. But first, I would like in some small way to convey the impression they all made together. Few of you might ever find any opportunity to see these films, as so few venues are out there for independent films. Because the level of passion and commitment portrayed in these films is so seldom seen anywhere, it remains largely unknown. They truly have the power to awaken anyone to the issues facing our planet: the survival of the natural world; habitat loss leading to species extinction; the future we leave to our children; the health of the very land, air, and water that is the basis of all life. This is the real war, one that is going on everywhere, and it has many fronts. We are running out of time, and this is not just about global warming, as big an issue as that is. Do we really need to destroy millions of acres of public land in the western states? Would you sacrifice a pristine wilderness area forever just to have a two day supply of natural gas? WATCH THE TRAILER for A Land Out of Time .
We may not all be capable of an extraordinary dedication, but it is important to realize how small efforts can add up. Conservation is our biggest, untapped source of "free energy". Our homes and buildings contribute far more to global warming than all our cars. And we already have the technology to cut electricity use, with simple and easy steps. Investment in clean, renewable sources pays for itself in very reasonable times frames. In "Kilowatt Ours", an entire county converted all its schools to geothermal heating and cooling, using the earth's constant 59 (&1/2) degrees the same way a heat pump exchanges air above ground. This saved $100,000's per year in what was going to electricity, now available for salaries and books. If we all switched to those compact flourescent bulbs, we could "not need" many new power plants to be built. And who would mind saving money? If we could care enough to do just what we can, these little things really do add up.
Why are we not hearing about energy conservation? Why are renewable energy sources not a priority. I think we already know. Now, there may be a chance to make changes. Watching a trailer is hardly the same as seeing the whole film, but still, it gives the flavor and shows more than words can convey. So please do watch them. Some films are being shown around the country, check the schedules. DVD's are for sale. This really is a spiritual and moral issue. Support some of the many fine conservation groups already at work. - Gloria
WATCH THE TRAILER : A Land Out of Time
Time is running out for vast swaths of the Rocky Mountain West as the Bush/Cheney Administration turns over millions of acres of public land for oil & gas drilling. Westerners on the land for generations expose the dramatic changes to the landscape and their heritage and spark a backlash. Just who is in charge of our public lands, the oil & gas industry or the American people?
The oil and gas industry has already leased more than 35 million acres of federal land--an area greater than 15 Yellowstones--and industry is moving aggressively to lease millions more before the end of Bush's term. Over a hundred thousand oil and gas wells have already been drilled from Montana to New Mexico, and plans are under way to drill another hundred thousand.
Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
Kekexili, the largest animal reserve in China, is home to many rare species, including the Tibetan antelope. Prized for its skin that is used in making luxurious, albeit illegal, shahtoosh scarves, the antelopes numbers have been dwindling drastically in the past 20 years as poachers slaughter the animals, often hundreds at a time. In the 1990s local Tibetans formed a volunteer patrol to try to stop the illegal poachingsometimes at the cost of their own lives. MOUNTAIN PATROL: KEKEXILI chronicles the life-and-death struggle between these volunteers and the poachers, and takes place in the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) high Kekexili on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
The most significant cause of each of these problems is our dependence on coal-generated electricity in America. In other words, the solution begins at our light switches and power strips.
Today, more than 50% of our nation's electricity is generated from coal. In the southeast U.S., where household electricity use is highest, this amounts to more than 12,000 pounds of coal burned per home per year.
Buildings in America consume nearly 2/3 of all the energy we use. The typical American home emits twice the annual global warming emissions compared to the typical car.
So, if we can make our buildings Net Zero buildings, the benefits to the environment and our quality of life will be profound.
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