Saving the Earth Through Healing Our Koyaanisqatsi

koy · ahn · i · skaht · see

Noun from the Hopi language meaning...

1. life disintegrating
2. life out of balance
3. life in turmoil
4. crazy life
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

For over 50 years now, the environmental movement has desperately struggled against modern civilization's rush to ecological destruction, yet today we stand on the cusp of what many scientists refer to as the "Sixth Great Extinction," one caused this time not by a meteor or other "natural" disasters, but by the accumulated impacts of human activity.

Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, the evidence is rapidly accumulating - there's a limit to how much bulldozing, plowing, paving, deforestation, pollution, and other human impacts Earth can take, and we've gone over it. The situation is so bad that scientists are now racing to set up a gene bank of the world's endangered animals, with thousands of species expected to become extinct within a generation due to climate change and habitat destruction.

According to Richard Cincotta, ecologist and senior researcher, Population Action International, "There are now more human babies born each day -- about 350,000 -- than there are individuals left in all the great ape species combined, including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans." Orangutans once ranged throughout Southeast Asia. Today they can be found only on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Scientists estimate that in the last 10 years their numbers have been reduced by up to 50 percent, to perhaps as few as 13,000 living in the wild. Lion populations have fallen by almost 90% in the past 20 years, leaving the animal close to extinction in Africa, a wildlife expert has warned. There are now only 23,000 left, compared to an estimated 200,000 two decades ago, according to Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist from the University of California.

As for the oceans, they may look pristine but experts warn that life below the sea could collapse. A study by Ran Myers and Boris Worm of Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University reported that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing. Those marine biologists say not only bluefin tuna but also other fish stocks are plummeting across the world, upsetting delicate natural food chains. Some fear irreversible damage has already been done. Even worse, international law experts add, little is being done to stop it. Despite all the evidence, high-tech fleets probe the last deep water refuges, hardly troubled by authorities.

Should Earth continue its warming pattern, scientists fear shore and habitat erosion, increased salinity of estuaries and freshwater aquifers, altered tidal ranges in rivers and bays, changes in sediments and nutrient transport, a change in patterns of chemical and microbial contamination in coastal areas, and increased coastal flooding. Ecosystems particularly at risk include saltwater marshes, mangrove ecosystems, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, coral atolls, and river deltas.

Almost half of all plant species could be facing extinction, according to new research by botanists in the United States. The official estimate by the World Conservation Union - the IUCN - suggests that 13% of the world's plant species are under threat, but the two US botanists say it is at least 22% and could be as many as 47%. Tropical forests alone are estimated to be disappearing at the rate of 12 million to 15 million hectares (46,000 to 59,000 square miles) a year.

This list of environmental ills that destroy our local and global environment could go on and on and on, as exemplified in the complementary information section below.

Our modern culture presents itself as something inevitable, even "natural," as if we have no choice but to continue to live alienated and Earth-destructive lives, but this is a lie. There is a way of living human life on Earth that is far more healthy, graceful and balanced than the destructive alienation currently driving us towards disaster, a way of life so powerfully connected to the often unnoticed wonder that surrounds us that it can actually heal the immense devastation we've caused during our march to "civilization." It is high time we heal our "koyannisqatsi" - our deadly estrangement from nature and the devastating damage it has caused to the processes that support life on Earth, as well as our own epidemic of human physical, emotional, social, and spiritual diseases. Despite huge progress in parts of the world in so-called environmental awareness, there is still a huge gap between what we profess or believe about the preciousness of all life-forms and the lightning speed with which we go about destroying the environment through our individual choices as consumers and the cumulative consequences of simple food choices, preferred lifestyles, transportation modes, and indulging in the multifaceted comforts of modern civilization.

May every human being realize soon how fragile are the ecological processes that maintain a steady and dynamic equilibrium without which nothing of what we have taken for granted for so long would exist. The exquisite beauty of all Life in its myriad manifestations and the ever enchanting wonders of Nature are too sacred and just too precious to be wasted and blindly destroyed in the blink of an eye, on a cosmic time-scale perspective, as we are collectively doing right now.

Environmental Milestones: A Worldwatch Retrospective
Trace key moments in the modern environmental movement from the 1960s until today. Explore pivotal events, scientific breakthroughs, and obstacles through an illustrated timeline with links to resources on the Web.
Bangladesh capital inundated as millions suffer in flooded South Asia (July 28, 2004)
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Residents waded through sewage and rowed boats on flooded roads in this city of 10 million people, as 44 more victims drowned and the death toll from monsoon rains reached 1,100 across South Asia on Tuesday. The annual monsoon flooding, fed by melting snow and torrential rains, has left millions across South Asia marooned or homeless. At least 686 people have died in India, 102 in Nepal and five in Pakistan, according to reports from officials. The new deaths were reported Monday and Tuesday in central and northern Bangladesh as waters receded in some flooded areas, raising the number killed in this delta nation to 394, the government said. Most of the deaths were caused by drowning, lightning, snakebites, and outbreaks of waterborne diseases.(...) The floods in Bangladesh are the worst since 1998. They have engulfed two-thirds of the country, affecting more than 25 million people. Up to 1.3 million displaced people huddled in about 4,000 flood shelters.  CLIP

Greenland ice-melt 'speeding up' (July 28, 2004)
First you hear a savage cracking sound, next the rolling crash of thunder. Then as the icebergs rip away from the margin of the ice-sheet they plunge into the grey waters of the Atlantic with a roar that echoes around the mountains.  In some places, the ice is melting one metre a month. Nothing prepares you for the sheer scale and drama of events in this forbidding terrain and all the signs are that the changes at work here are gathering pace. The only way to reach the ice-sheet is by helicopter - a spectacular flight through remote fjords and the jagged blue-white rubble of the ice. We travelled with Danish scientist Carl Boggild of GEUS, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. For the past few years he has been managing a network of 10 automatic monitoring stations and his first results are alarming - the edges of the ice-sheet are melting up to 10 times more rapidly than earlier research had indicated.  (...) "We can say for certain that the rate of melting has increased and we can say for certain that the height of the ice-sheet is falling, even allowing for increased ice-flow. "There is no doubt that something very major is happening here." As we speak, he checks the instruments on the automatic station. A large range of data is collected and transmitted via satellite to Copenhagen every six hours. For the first time, scientists should have a long-term, on-the-ground view of the changes taking place here. Just before we leave, there is another roar as more icebergs crash into the ocean Many more icebergs falling into the sea will cause two things to happen - the sea-level will rise and the injection of freshwater could disrupt the ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream. What happens in this remote barren land has the potential to affect us all.

Maldives: Paradise soon to be lost (July 28, 2004)
To visit the Maldives is to witness the slow death of a nation. For as well as being blessed with sun-kissed paradise islands and pale, white sands, this tourist haven is cursed with mounting evidence of an environmental catastrophe.  The country is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise. To the naked eye, the signs of climate change are almost imperceptible, but government scientists fear the sea level is rising up to 0.9cm a year. Since 80% of its 1,200 islands are no more than 1m above sea level, within 100 years the Maldives could become uninhabitable. The country's 360,000 citizens would be forced to evacuate. The Maldives' survival as a sovereign nation is truly at stake. CLIP

Sea engulfing Alaskan village (July 30, 2004)
Alaska It is thought to be the most extreme example of global warming on the planet.  Some estimate that the sea moves inland three metres a year. The village of Shishmaref lies on a tiny island on the edge of the arctic circle - and it is literally being swallowed by the sea. Houses the Eskimos have occupied for generations are now wilting and buckled. Some have fallen into the sea. Not only is the earth crumbling underfoot, but the waves are rising ominously all around.  (...)  Locals are planning to relocate to the mainland. Because temperatures in Alaska have increased by as much as 4.4C over the last 30 years, glaciers are starting to melt, causing the sea levels to rise. The increased temperature is also thawing the frozen ground, which is known as permafrost, on which the arctic communities such as Shishmaref were built. It is this thawing that is causing the ground to crumble like sand. CLIP

Climate change: The big emitters (July 23, 2004)
The future of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change is largely in the hands of the world's biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. BBC News Online looks at how much they emit, what are they doing about it and where they stand on Kyoto. The US emits more, absolutely and per head, than any other country - although it also produces more wealth. When Kyoto was agreed, the US signed and committed to reducing its emissions by 6%. But since then it has pulled out of the agreement and its carbon dioxide emissions have increased to more than 15% above 1990 levels. For the agreement to become a legally binding treaty, it must be ratified by countries which together were responsible for at least 55% of the total 1990 emissions reported by the industrialised countries and emerging economies which made commitments to reduce their emissions under the protocol. As the US accounted for 36.1% of those emissions, this 55% target is much harder to achieve without its participation. President George W Bush said in March 2001 that the US would not ratify Kyoto because he thought it would damage the US economy and because it did not yet require developing countries to cut their emissions. CLIP

Greenpeace Jaguars on the prowl Saving Argentine forests from destruction
Update July 29th: During their latest prowl our jaguars tracked down five more bulldozers clear cutting and burning the forest. Using their motorbikes they intercepted the bulldozers and blocked their path to the forest thus ending today's planned destruction. The machines have been locked up with chains and 'Blocked by Greenpeace' is now stamped on all the diggers. Monday's bulldozers are also still locked up so, all in all, our prowlers have managed to immobilize eight bulldozers. (...) In Argentina, 75 percent of our native forests have already disappeared, and every hour the equivalent of 20 football pitches (soccer fields, for you North Americans) of forest is destroyed to grow transgenic soya. The damage is irreversible, it is almost impossible to grow forest on the soil again - and today an area the size of Germany is at risk. In the last month, a provincial government has already sold off a natural reserve to companies planning to sow genetically engineered (GE) soya, an unprecedented act. This cannot carry on! That's why the Greenpeace Jaguars have gone into action to defend north-west Argentina's remaining forest. CLIP

Argentina Protests Against Monsanto's Clear-Cutting Virgin Forests to Plant GE Soybeans
29 July 2004 - Campaigners from environmental group Greenpeace launched a protest this week in Argentina's north western forests, in response to biotech company Monsanto using the land to plant genetically modified soya.

Locusts begin rampage in West, North Africa (July 28, 2004)
ALGIERS, Algeria - Damage from swarms of locusts eating vital crops in North and West Africa could triple to $245 million within a year if no emergency aid is provided soon, U.N. and government experts say. "Locusts use war tactics. Locusts know no borders. Donors have to understand ... we face the risks of famine and death," Senegalese Agriculture Minister Habib Syla told a regional meeting to discuss the plague. Desert locust swarms contain up to 80 million insects per square kilometer and travel more than 80 miles a day. An adult desert locust can munch its own weight, or about two grams, of food a day. Swarms can devastate entire crop fields in minutes. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said the current locust crisis was the most serious to hit West Africa since a 1987-89 plague which cost more than $300 million. CLIP

Pesticides found in 43% of fruit and vegetables traces of pesticide (28 July 2004)
More than four out of ten items of fruit, vegetable and cereals on sale in Britain contain traces of pesticide, according to a new report which reveals the extent of chemical contamination in the food chain. Of a total of 2,087 samples, 889 - or 43 per cent - were found to contain some form of pesticide. Meanwhile 34 items, or 1.6 per cent of the total, exceeded the maximum safety levels laid down by the authorities. (...) Across Europe, more than 46,000 samples of mostly fresh food were analysed for traces of 170 pesticides. Compared with previous years the percentage with no detectable residues has decreased and those over the maximum threshold has risen as has those with some pesticide traces.  CLIP

Apple a day may poison children (July 30, 2004),3604,1272346,00.html
Children who eat an apple or pear a day may be exceeding the pesticide safety threshold because of residues on the fruit, according to research. Using Department of Environment data on pesticides on fruit collected from supermarkets, scientists calculated that each day some children would get a toxic level of pesticides. CLIP

Bush Eases Pesticide Reviews for Endangered Species (29 July 2004)
Washington - The Environmental Protection Agency will be free to approve pesticides without consulting wildlife agencies to determine if the chemical might harm plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act, according to new Bush administration rules. CLIP

Alaska's Rainforest, The Tongass Under Threat by the Bush Administration (July 30)

20 Ways The World Could End

Rainforests Biodiversity Scale Of Destruction -- The Number One Issue Facing Humanity

Full Coverage on Climate Change

Full Coverage on Environment and Nature

Full Coverage on Nuclear Power and Waste

Full Coverage on Pollution

In the face of the environmental crisis now bearing down on us, Life Disintegrating/Earth Crash takes a unique approach to environmental issues, one dedicated to documenting Earth's environmental collapse due to the accumulated impacts of human activity without any of the usual sugar-coating. It contains in-depth coverage of the compelling evidence that the ecological collapse of Earth has indeed begun, by means of hundreds of news article from a wide variety of sources such as the BBC, New York Times, the international journals Science and Nature, and many other sources, with links to the original source articles.

If Life Disintegrating/Earth Crash succeeds at its mission, it is likely you will be very disturbed after spending some time browsing through it. If so, you are encouraged to look at what else is offered at Earth Crash Earth Spirit. Crazy Life ( ) presents an analysis - albeit a very challenging one - of how we got into this fix. Another Way of Living ( ) outlines a new way of thinking about and living human life on Earth that is far more healthy, graceful and balanced than the destructive alienation currently driving us towards disaster. And, finally, Earth Spirit ( ) offers us hope, because there are ways of healing the damage we caused, although not by the usual means we've been trained to think of, such as yet more technological fixes.

The ONLY solution is to enforce The Plan and reinstate God’s Laws and agricultural policy:-

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