Why Don’t We Ever Learn?

By Jim Selman | Bio

As we watch the devastation in Haiti on television, the world recoils at the horror and the suffering, mobilizes its resources and tries to clean up the mess and help the survivors. The media forages, looking for who to blame (usually corrupt or incompetent politicians). We’ve witnessed this scene following earthquakes countless times: in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake 2008 when 69,000 died in China; in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake when 230,000 died in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand; in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake where 86,000 died in Pakistan; in the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake when 142,800 died in Japan; and even in 1908’s Messina earthquake when 100,000 died in Italy. If we think about the hurricanes, volcanoes, fires, tsunamis and famine, it seems the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” are doing a fabulous business these days. The fact is that natural (and some unnatural) disasters happen all the time.  But if you look at the impact of these events in developed countries and compare them to the impact in underdeveloped countries, the contrast is shocking.

The reason for this has been clear for a long time. The extent of damage in any earthquake depends on many variables, including the magnitude of the quake and the aftershocks, what type of soil buildings are on and the distance of population centers from the epicenter. Underdeveloped or developing nations face particular challenges—especially when dealing with high population density areas—because they lack the necessary infrastructure to respond. In addition to this factor,

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The Elders Update

Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari has joined The Elders, replacing Muhammud Yunus who has stepped down due to the demands of his work. According to Mr. Ahtisaari, "Peace is a question of will. All conflicts can be settled, and it is
intolerable that violent conflicts defy resolution for decades, causing
immeasurable human suffering.

Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2008 for his efforts on several continents and for more than 3 decades to resolve international conflicts.

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AVATAR: Activism through Fiction

By Lauren Selman | Bio

“Sarah…just saw Avatar, it was great!” “Mark…wants you to see Avatar!” The facebook status updates of my friends keep pouring in. Not interested in another blockbuster blow-em-up movie, I looked to my various communities to see what people think and sure enough the reviews are there too. Young and old, Democrat or Republican, Eco-Conscious and Eco-Hating, the status updates had a clear message, to see Avatar.

Okay, fine! I’ll see it. I had been told it was an

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By Jim Selman | Bio

Moods ‘color’ our experience of living. They are all encompassing interpretations of the world—especially the future—and tend to determine the quality of our lives. When we are in a positive mood, the world is bright and we ‘feel’ great. When we are in a negative mood, we typically want to withdraw from or strike out at everyone around us.  One of the most useful things we can learn as we grow up (at any age) is that moods aren’t personal.

First of all, they are involuntary. No one I know decides they will be in a bad mood (although there are a few who more or less equate their mood with ‘the way I am’, which can become a kind of self-fulfilling story and can justify just about anything). For example, I know a man who believes that he is, more or less, permanently doomed to procrastinate and put off what he knows he needs to do until the last minute. He then begins to become annoyed with himself weeks before

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Toward a Brighter Future

It’s easy to get involved in the fight against climate change. You can start by measuring your climate impact and then managing your environmental footprint. Brighter Planet allows you to watch your carbon footprint with an online tool assessment that prompts you to answer questions, and a sophisticated emissions model tells you what your footprint is. You can watch it change over time as you learn to live a more carbon-free life.

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Is Peace Enough?

By Shae Hadden

In every moment, all possibilities are happening:

  • birth, rebirth, death
  • love, fear
  • war, peace
  • compassion, hate
  • trust, distrust
  • harmony, conflict
  • poverty, wealth
  • starvation, obesity
  • disease, health
  • beauty, toxic waste
  • wisdom, folly
  • youth, adulthood, elderhood
  • creation, destruction

And so on….

Opposing forces are constantly in dynamic motion, striving for balance and harmony.

When 99.99% of human beings all desire the same things (to live peacefully, feed their families and enjoy life’s abundance), it is no longer enough for us to simply strive for peace.

In these challenging times, we need to transform the entire dance of creation and destruction.

More later on why peace may not be enough….

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