May 2012


In April 2012 the Copenhagen Philharmonic (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Grieg’s Peer Gynt. The flash mob was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk http://radioklassisk.dk/. All music was performed and recorded in the metro.

Watch this. It will put a smile on your face, as it did the lucky commuters that day.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Advertisements

The following is a recent press release from the New Zealand Green Party. This is another shining example of the sort of people power we’ve been seeing all over the world in the last year.

The Green Party is today welcoming the news that Meridian Energy is pulling out of plans to dam the Mokihinui River.

The campaign to save the Mokihinui has been running since 2007. Meridian’s proposal would have resulted in the inundation of conservation land destroying 300 hectares of irreplaceable river gorge habitat for kiwi, blue duck, kaka, falcons, giant land snails, native bats, and the long-finned eels that live along the Mokihinui.

“New Zealanders love our wild rivers and want them protected. This is a great day for all New Zealanders,” said Green Party Coleader Dr Russel Norman.

“New Zealanders love our wild rivers and want them protected. This is a great day for all New Zealanders,” said Green Party Coleader Dr Russel Norman.

“It is great that the new Meridian Energy CEO, Mark Binns, has listened to thousands of New Zealanders who love this river and is backing away from the destructive dam proposal.

“Given that potential for a dam was a major factor for its exclusion from Kahurangi National Park, the Government can now take this opportunity to include the Mokihinui River in Kahurangi National Park.

Meridian’s decision confirms the wisdom of a Landcare Research report that it was not possible to offset the loss of biodiversity values the proposed dam would have caused.

“The dam would have caused irreplaceable losses of our treasured native species,” said Dr Norman.

“Meridian’s decision highlights the importance of the Department of Conservation (DOC) taking a strong advocacy role under the RMA.

“DOC scientists and technical specialists have collected much valuable ecological, landscape, and other information in preparing a strong Environment Court case against the dam. It is one of the few RMA cases with which the Department is still involved.

“I am concerned about the impact of continuing funding cuts to DOC for future cases. Will we have the resources to protect our treasured places with the continued poor choices the National Government is making ahead of the Budget on Thursday,” said Dr Norman.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Dear friends,

I’m writing with a personal plea for help from Japan. A nuclear inspector just said that the fate of my country and much of the world depends on Fukushima’s Reactor Number 4. If this damaged structure collapses, the spread of radiation would go way beyond Japan’s borders and be truly catastrophic.

Since last year’s tragic earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, a pool of highly dangerous spent nuclear fuel is being held in reactor 4’s crumbling structure. Experts say another strong earthquake would cause the pool to collapse and emit such high radiation that my family and the 35 million people in Tokyo would be forced to evacuate. It would also contaminate the skies across the Pacific and into Asia. The area around the toxic pool is vulnerable to regular seismic shocks, but, amazingly, my government is denying the risks, likely desperate not to cause panic.

Global nuclear experts, a US Senator and tens of thousands of people across Japan are raising the alarm. My country has the technology to stop this disaster, but not the political will. The best way to curb this lethal threat that would dwarf last year’s disaster is a global wave of public pressure on my government to agree an emergency plan with UN experts. Click below to sign the petition to the UN and Prime Minister Noda and forward this to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_japans_nuclear_meltdown_global_b/?tta

Reactor 4 has no walls or roof and there are thousands of spent fuel rods inside the pool containing ten times the amount of radioactive material released in the Chernobyl nuclear accident. This material, Cesium 137, is so explosive that to avoid spontaneous fire, the dilapidated pool must be constantly cooled. Radiation from Cesium 137 can remain dangerous for hundreds of years. If the pool collapsed and a fire ensued reactor 4 is just 50 meters from the other reactors that contain thousands more spent fuel rods. The scope of disaster is nearly unfathomable!

Nuclear scientists say the fuel must be removed from the pool as fast as possible to a safe and dry cask strorage facility. But the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Japan’s embattled nuclear energy giant, insists they have reinforced the structure and is relying on the vulnerable pool storage system to hold up. Since last year’s disaster people’s trust in TEPCO and official institutions has plummeted — their response has been dismal and for years, safety breaches were covered up and government regulators looked the other way.

One Japanese politician called the Reactor 4 risk, ‘the ultimate catastrophe for the world’. I do not want my grandchildren or anyone across the world to grow up on the brink of nuclear disaster, and together we can stop it. Let’s cause a public storm and get the UN’s attention and remove this risk forever. Sign the urgent petition then forward this to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_japans_nuclear_meltdown_global_b/?tta

The people across my country are still reeling from last year’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, but the triple disaster emboldened the citizens for change. Weeks ago, Japanese Avaaz members helped make my country the first developed nation on earth to go nuclear free. Now let’s together remove this last remaining lethal threat before it is too late.
MORE INFORMATION

Fukushima Reactor 4 poses massive global risk (CTV)
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/World/20120518/fukushima-dai-ichi-risk-reactor-4-120519/

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over (Huffington Post)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-alvarez/the-fukushima-nuclear-dis_b_1444146.htmll

Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant (The Asahi Shimbun)
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201205100051

Fukushima Daiichi’s Achilles Heel: Unit 4′s Spent Fuel? (The Wall Street Journal)
http://en.rsf.org/bahrain-france-24-correspondent-tortured-30-05-2011,40374.html

Japan Nuclear Plant May Be Worse Off Than Thought (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/world/asia/inquiry-suggests-worse-damage-at-japan-nuclear-plant.html?_r=1

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Our hiking group has been rained out the past couple of Wednesdays. But the following pictures are from a walk a few weeks ago along the low tide road (I use this term liberally) to Shipwreck Bay. The waves were perfect for surfing that day, so we watched a few catching rides. Then we headed up into a wild dune landscape, a sort of desert-scape by the sea. The stumps look to be remnants of an old kauri forest. It was a beautiful day in an unusual, attractive place. Enjoy the photos.


CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

 

I’ll be singing My Way at our ceili on Saturday night but that will be nothing compared with the music of Andre Rieu and orchestra at the Radio City Music Hall below. This may not be the kind of music you usually listen to (or watch) but this is pretty amazing. I hope it touches you. Rieu is playing a Stradivarius, by the way.
 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Charles Grant was a wealthy industrialist in the early 1800s. As the head of the British East India Company (BEIC) he was one of the most powerful and influential business leaders of his day. BEIC employed half the world’s slaves in its multifarious activities such as the management of sugar cane, tea and rubber plantations.

One morning 200 hundred years ago Charles Grant woke up with a change of conscience. He could see that the enslavement of some for the benefit of others was morally wrong and he set out to right that wrong. At the risk of losing everything he had dedicated his life to – status, position, power and money – he set out to help make slavery illegal. He and others dedicated to this cause were successful. The moral imperative trumped the economic imperative. Although slavery stills exists in pockets throughout the world today, its pervasiveness has been greatly diminished.

One could argue that the abolishment of slavery was the landmark legislative coup of its day. The single stroke of a pen making slavery a crime set in motion a domino cascade of changes to human culture, all for the better – the right of women to vote, the civil rights movement, even the recent advent of the Arab Spring. More and more people everywhere acknowledge that the advantages of human birth should be universally available regardless of race, gender, nationality or religion.

One could also argue that the proposed law on Ecocide making it the fifth international crime against peace is potentially world changing. It could make today’s destructive business practices obsolete. It could legally encourage corporate leaders to move their focus toward a truly green economy.

Polly Higgins and her team are actively seeking an influential corporate figure prepared to be the Charles grant of today; someone willing to champion the proposed ecocide law at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June this year.  As Polly said to me in our recent interview: What the world needs today is bold, moral and courageous leadership. Who is willing to be such a leader now? We know you’re out there.

If interested visit: www.WhoIsCharlesGrant.com and www.eradicatingecocide.com

Related posts:

Eradicating Ecocide: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Let’s Put An End To Slavery

 
CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Victor Hugo once said, “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” The eradication of ecocide is such an idea.

I believe each of us has something of value to offer the world at large; each of us has a mission. My recent guest on Voices from the North, U.K. lawyer Polly Higgins, has found hers.

Polly Higgins is the author of the award-winning Eradicating Ecocide: laws and governance to prevent the destruction of our planet. She has been voted one of the “World’s Top 10 Visionary Thinkers” by the Ecologist and named “the Planet’s lawyer” by the 2010 Change Awards. Listen to our complete interview below:

Ecocide is a term first coined in the 1970s. Ecocide is anything that causes mass damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems.

And though the term ecocide has existed for decades the idea whose time has come is Polly’s. She proposes to make Ecocide the 5th international Crime against Peace.

Her proposed amendment to the Rome Statute says: Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

You can now help change the course of history and sign a petition at Avaaz asking world leaders to address ecocide at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June: Below is the link:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/NOW_IS_OUR_CHANCE_TO_END_ECOCIDE/?cmfScdb

As Polly Higgins and her growing team of advocates claim on their website www.eradicatingecocide.com ‘by legally defining ecocide, anything that causes mass ecocide will stop. All companies that cause ecocide, such as oil companies, will have to become clean energy companies. This will happen because investors will divert money towards green industry rather than companies engaging in illegal, environmentally-damaging practices. Thus, the [ecocide] law creates a framework allowing companies to shift from “polluter pays” to “polluter doesn’t pollute”.’

A favourite uncle of mine, Dr. Roger Butler invented a technology that allows economically viable horizontal extraction of oil from tar sands. His discovery has resulted in what is arguably the single biggest environmental eyesore on the planet. The Athabasca Tar Sands project has created an ugly, poisonous blight in the northern Canadian tundra easily visible from space. It is immense. It is the size of England and Wales combined and it continues to grow. My uncle, an intelligent, passionate and highly likeable character could hardly have foreseen the scale of devastation his discovery has wrought.

Here’s a little on the dirty oil of the Athabasca Tar Sands:

Polly Higgins revealed in our time together on the radio that one of her forebears, Patillo Higgins, discovered oil in Texas in 1901. His well was a gusher that was still working one hundred years later. The well had an initial flow rate greater than all of the oil wells in the United States combined in that day. The Spindletop oilfield churned out over 3 million barrels the first year of operation, and over 17 million barrels the following year. This effectively brought an end to John D. Rockefeller’s world monopoly.

 Within fifteen years of his oil discovery an unprecedented industry build-up resulting in half a million jobs had emerged.

So it would seem Polly and I (and many others) have ‘ancestral dirt’ on our hands. It goes to show each of us has a responsibility to future generations to reverse current trends of destruction and ensure this planet remains beautiful, unsullied and teeming with life.

The scale with which corporations extract minerals and oil from the sub-surface of the earth today is unprecedented and hugely destructive. Despite blatant warnings such as Chernobyl and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, nuclear power is still expanding. China alone has 14 nuclear power reactors in operation, more than 25 under construction, and more about to start construction soon. Despite the 2008 BP debacle in the Gulf of Mexico deep sea oil drilling continues unabated. Despite the known dangers of fracking (including the poisoning of groundwater and increased seismic activity), the present New Zealand government is freely handing out permits for this practise of induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, commonly known as fracking, a technique using drilling and the pressurized introduction of water, sand and chemicals to release petroleum, natural gas or other substances to the surface for extraction.

Present laws of contract compel corporate leaders to maximize shareholder profits. There is little incentive to address downstream environmental impacts in decision making.

Please visit www.eradicatingecocide.com and find out how you can add your voice to a growing chorus of voices calling for laws which acknowledge that the Earth herself is precious and has rights and is not simply a resource to be plundered. As it says on Polly’s website: By giving mass damage destruction and loss of ecosystems legal definition we can close the door to the killing of the Earth. This is a world that deserves to live.

Time is of the utmost. Polly Higgins would dearly like to see ecocide championed at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June this year. That’s only weeks from now. Spread the word and get the cyber waves humming about this brave and timely vision destined to create a legal framework for peace.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/NOW_IS_OUR_CHANCE_TO_END_ECOCIDE/?cmfScdb

‘Current law protects the polluter, not people and planet. Laws provide pollution permits. If a company exceeds its limits it can be fined, which often makes no difference, as they can afford to pay the fines and still make profit. The law has set up a system that gives companies the right to pollute and destroy.

By creating a law of Ecocide, the law will protect people and planet.

By placing the interests of other people and beings first, and over profit, the consequences of actions take priority. If a decision is going to lead to damage and destruction, then it will be a crime. Looking after the Earth – a duty of care – will become the number one priority.’ (from www.eradicatingecocide.com )

Until now, the Earth has been burning while lawyers and environmentalists have fiddled with environmental legislation and protests against harmful projects like the Tar Sands. Ecocide laws will allow us to put the fires out.


CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Next Page »