Life

Leading the Way: Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change

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Colonos is involved in preparing a concept paper, which will be presented at the “Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change” at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska (USA), 20-24 April 2009. It concerns the categorisation and organisation of contents well as a licensing framework for a web portal providing access to climate change adaptation strategies and tactics based on indigenous knowledge practices and captured in the spirit of the practitioners, whether in moving pictures, still, song or poetry. Not an easy conceptual task on a rather politically volatile and culturally sensitive terrain. However, we thought (something like) “better us than someone with less of a strong political analysis and feeling of solidarity and spirit of rebellion” (just to blow our own horn, perhaps?!).

One of the central challenges is spelled out in this quote from the Introduction to a Special Issue of Futures: Futures of Indigenous Knowledges. Volume 41, Issue 1, Pages 1-66 (February 2009):

“[T]he future for [Indigenous Knowledges] IKs lies in the creation of a knowledge space for assembling diverse knowledges. The critical strategic capacity to allow the comparative evaluation and growth of diverse knowledge traditions with differing epistemologies and ontologies, with differing ways of understanding and framing the world, may be humanity’s last hope for a future. .. But … is it possible for IKs to be moved from their site of cultural production, enter the knowledge economy and become part of the global knowledge commons without losing their cultural specificity, without being homogenised and submerged in one globalised system?” (Turnbull 2009)

We can reveal that the concept paper recommends the Transmission Metadata Standard, links to IFIWatch.TV, and draws upon the experiences of the Free Culture movement, more specifically the Free Software movement’s strategies and tactics for the reform of copyright. More on that later…

Meanwhile, here is the invitation to the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change:

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The Asian Brown Cloud: Global Climate Chaos and Tropical Glaciers

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The United Nations have released a report on the phenomenon dubbed as the Asian Brown Cloud, which is a thick soup of human waste engulfing Asia, and which has been widely reported:

“A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.

The huge smog-like plumes, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and firewood, are known as “atmospheric brown clouds.”

When mixed with emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for warming the earth’s atmosphere like a greenhouse, they are the newest threat to the global environment, according to a report commissioned by the U.N. Environment Program.”

In the report itself it reads:

“One of the most serious problems highlighted in the report is the documented retreat of the Hind Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers, which provide the head-waters for most Asian rivers, and thus have serious implications for the water and food security of Asia”

This taken together with the alarming development all over the world, but particularly with regards to tropical glaciers in South America, mainly Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, it is looking more and more like game over soon. There really isn’t much time left. The Asian Brown cloud, first reported on in 2002 has now grown to a full scale threat of immanent disaster. Water is running out, the Himalayan glaciers whose decay are accelerated by the Asian Brown Cloud feed around 2 billion people with water to drink and to grow crops. Now go figure…

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Meetings with Remarkable Trees: On A Smaller Scale

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Meetings with remarkable trees – even if not as extraordinary as Thomas Pakenham’s and even if these photos are not really very good – these trees, like most other (older) trees – are quite remarkable. When did you last hug your local tree?

Embracing the Future

Holding the Past

Jatun Sacha Foundation and Bioprivateering: Dodgy Business as Usual

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As a curious reader of the blog stats is has once again been brought to my attention that there is widespread interest for information about the Jatun Sacha Foundation’s involvement in what is sometimes wrongly called biopiracy. There was never anything privately owned in the first place, as was the case when pirates liberated goods from the capitalist (slave) ships, hence bioprivateering is more to the point.

Colonos have previously posted about Jatun Sacha twice (1/2) and when looking in the stats today I noticed that quite a few people were clicking on the external link to see some proofs of the allegations. So I thought I’d save people some clicking and reading and excavate with a bit of gimping some of the relevant paragraphs of the Rafi Communique, September-October 1995 for all to easily see:

from:

Biopiracy Update: A Global Pandemic

Download PDF Download PDF (2 MB) – about 348 seconds on a 56k modem

Cases from Thailand, Gabon, Ecuador, and Peru

RAFI is now called www.etcgroup.org

Video: Jaguar Eating Ayahuasca: simply to purge?

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A video, embedded below, is circulating the ayahuasca surfers’ realm. It shows, whether true or not, a jaguar feeding on the ayahuasca vine. The jaguar is a very centrally important figure in the cosmovision of many Amazonian ayahuasca cultures, the observations of which continue to spawn many speculations about the various practices and myths around the jaguar (and ayahuasca).

A very early observation states that:

“Ingestion of Ayahuasca usually induces nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and leads to either an euphoric or an aggressive state. Frequently the Indian sees overpowering attacks of huge snakes or jaguars. These animals often humiliate him because he is a mere man. The repetitiveness with which snakes and jaguars occur in Ayahuasca visions has intrigues psychologists. It is understandable that these animals play such a role, since they are the only beings respected and feared by the Indians of the tropical forest; because of their power and stealth, they have assumed a place of primacy in aboriginal religious beliefs.

In many tribes, the shaman becomes a feline during the intoxication, exercising his powers as a cat. Yekwana medicine men mimic the roars of jaguars. Tukano Ayahuasca-takers may experience nightmares of jaguar jaws swallowing them or huge snakes approaching and coiling around their bodies … shamans of the Conibo-Shipibo tribe acquire great snakes as personal possessions to defend themselves in supernatural battles against other powerful shamans.

The drug may be the shaman’s tool to diagnose illness or to ward off impending disaster, to guess the wiles of an enemy, to prophesy the future. But it is more than the shaman’s tool. It enters into almost all aspects of the life of the people who use it, to an extent equalled by hardly any other hallucinogen. Partakers, shamans or not, see all the gods, the first human beings, and animals, and come to understand the establishment of their social order.”

Did the shamans learn from the jaguars to use the plant? Is there a cosmic connection, therefore, through the ayahuasca between the jaguar and people that live with the cats and the ayahuasca plant?

The Jaguar Theory notes that:

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The Forest of Bowland: a few glimpses of hedgehog territory

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This post serves “only” to show where the unusual hedgehog was roaming:

Drugs and ignorance: a rushed comment on “LSD on the rise”

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Just came across an ignorant statement on LSD in a blog to which I left a rushed comment; however, given the backward, ignorant position of the blogger it is most unlikely that the comment will ever pass moderation, so I thought I’d stick it up here, even if very rushed; but first a quote from the post:

Ø LSD is a mind altering drug and the effects can last for up to 12 hours.

Ø A person on LSD never knows if they are going to have a good trip or a bad trip.

Ø LSD can cause hallucinations and loss of sense of direction and time. It can also cause thoughts of dying.

Ø There are reports of people who have never gotten over a bad trip and were impaired for many years after.

To which I quickly said:

This seems to me to be a rather superficial treatment of a highly complex substance – and does not add anything useful: kids want to try it because it is mind altering, – that’s the whole point of psychedelics.

There is no such thing as a good or bad trip – a proper psychedelic experience will most often include visions of the dark side. What’s so bad about looking into the painful, dark and sinister aspects or reality? Is it better to live in ignorant bliss and Homestore imagery?

Attaining hallucinations is also a key driving factor in taking hallucinogenic substances, obviously. The loss of sense of direction and time is yet another desirable effect. Any reflection on a deeper level ought to cause thoughts of dying: therein lies the revelatory potential to understand life (when juxtaposed with its only alternative).

The last point nails it: pure rhetoric! Did they “never” get over their bad trip, or were they “impaired for years”? Clearly a misleading statement based on lacking understanding.

More information and advice should be given to young people, no doubt about it, but “information” of this kind can only backfire, since any teenager who spends ten minutes googling the subject will realise that it is written in sheer ignorance and it will carry no sensible meaning for those who do so. It encourages unsafe use with the same level of understanding, or no understanding, really.