Spirit Wisdom II
Of all the challenges facing humankind in a parlous era, one holds both the greatest peril and the greatest promise: global warming. In truth, global warming is but one facet of a multidimensional ecological crisis whose fearsome potential you are only beginning to recognize. Before addressing the issue itself, let us take a look at the Earth from the perspective of ecological holism.
Every planet is an ecological system of greater or lesser complexity. As Nature’s fundamental principle is balance, every planet settles into a stable equilibrium, however dynamic its surface may be. Earth is an exceptional planet for a number of reasons, including its extraordinarily lively and dynamic surface; its high water content; its equable temperature range; and its mix of atmospheric and telluric elements enabling life to thrive. Unlike other planets, which have little difficulty in maintaining equilibrium, Earth has an exceptionally dynamic and volatile environment, both atmospheric and telluric: from earthquakes to tornadoes, the party never stops. Earth rarely settles at static equilibrium; its dynamism is its equilibrium.
The Global Crisis
Every ecological system, from a tiny pond to a planet, draws upon redundancies and reserves to weather periods of stress and restore equilibrium. This means that as an ecological system begins to suffer damage, the damage will not be apparent because compensatory mechanisms mask it. There comes a point, however—a tipping point—when redundancies and reserves have been exhausted and the system begins to unravel in a downward spiral of collapse.
Global warming, then, is not a single process, with a single cause, a single consequence, and a single cure. It is the most obvious manifestation of an unraveling global ecology with many causes and many consequences; the blaring siren drawing attention to a planet that has exhausted itself trying to compensate for the predations of humankind. It is also not the most dire potential outcome of an unraveling ecology; it is a precursor of worse to come if its lessons are not heeded.
As you understand it, global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels which pumps excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, triggering a greenhouse effect. There are other factors, however, not yet recognized. One is the electrification of the globe. In its natural state, the Earth relies on a clear and unhindered flow of “information” from the heavens to the ground, and back again, in a cycle of mutual awareness. There is no “mind” processing this information; the system operates chemically and energetically: the chemical and energetic composition of wind and rain is absorbed by plants and the ground, “apprising” them of larger patterns encircling the globe. The chemical and energetic emissions from plants and animals, in turn, “apprise” the atmosphere of events and trends down below. Again, it is an unconscious, unmediated system of information exchange that stabilizes and balances the Earth.
As an example, where pressure builds up in the Earth’s crust as rock grinds against rock, the growing tension is transmitted vibrationally through the crust and into the atmosphere. When the tension is so great that equilibrium must be restored sharply (otherwise known as an earthquake), this too will be broadcast before the event. It is well known that animals sense these portentous vibrations and seek safety and shelter. The system has a larger purpose than transmitting earthquake warnings, but this is one of the benefits to animate life.
The electrification of the globe interferes with the energetic information exchange between bedrock and atmosphere. It is a layer of thick static which mangles energetic messages passing through it. Atmosphere and bedrock lose their smooth exchange and communicate in garbled fragments. As well, the ocean floor is lined with electrical and communication cables, so the deep communion from ocean depths to atmosphere is warped and frazzled.
This bears on global warming because the Earth’s ability to accurately gauge a threat to its equilibrium—to recognize it and take compensatory measures—is hampered by the loss of energetic communication. In other words, if humankind had burned all the fossil fuels it has but not harnessed electricity, global warming would not have such severe effects, had it occurred at all. As it is, Earth is blinded and deafened, just when it most needs clear perception to overcome a dire threat to its equilibrium.
The Rise and Fall of Civilization
There is a larger issue which no one—no scientist or politician—has even realized, yet alone addressed: it is civilization itself that is driving ecological holocaust. Global warming is only the most recent—and most threatening—symptom of a larger global malaise.
From the Industrial Age onward, the foundation of modern economics has been the ever more efficient grinding up of “natural resources”—as if the Earth were a supply cabinet forever stocked by indulgent gods. Every modern economy—and those aspiring to that status—rests on this foundation of ecological destruction in the service of economic progress. Liberal or conservative, it matters not: all politicians see a robust economy as the greatest good. But a robust economy, by definition, means the consumption of “natural resources” beyond all need or reason.
Ultimately, then, global warming is not the problem; global warming is a symptom of a larger problem: civilization itself. We pass no judgment; we do not argue the merits of civilized living versus tribal living. Our point is to underscore that civilization itself—not the burning of fossil fuels—is the larger culprit in a systemic ecological crisis of which global warming is but the most portentous omen.
The question facing you, then, is not whether you can weather the effects of global warming—as profound as they will be—but whether this will inspire a deeper examination of the organization and values of civilized society. Like any indulgent parent, the Earth offers plenty of precautionary warnings and cautions before striking—but if those warnings are not heeded, civilization itself may be imperiled. The threat is that it won’t be one civilization falling while others rise from its ashes; the threat is of a worldwide collapse of social order—of civilization itself.
A Zone of Safety
What is the foundation of civilization, any civilization? Agriculture: settled food production. However vast and high-tech your societies are today, and however remote they appear from the first rude rice plots, they still rest on the efficient and reliable production of food. Imperil that and civilization itself is imperiled. We mention this because imperiled food production is one of the forecasted effects of global warming. Just as the Earth is groaning under burgeoning billions of hungry human mouths, the ability to feed those mouths will be hindered by erratic weather and temperature patterns.
This scenario may inspire thoughts of fashioning a personal zone of safety to ride out the global warming crisis, and other crises coincident with or successive to it. It is not our intent to utter dire prophecies of “the end is near,” but we would be remiss if we didn’t underscore the risks to civilized life that global warming and other crises portend, and how quickly civilization can unravel.
Our purpose here is to outline which regions of the planet will be most conducive to establishing a Zone of Safety. [Note!—and note it well!—our purpose is not to incite fear and anxiety. Our point is to highlight the likely events unfolding in the future as global warming and other crises grip the planet; their effects on civilized societies, particularly food production; and that those already ensconced in a Zone of Safety are likely to weather those crises more securely. A return to natural and spiritual living should be motivated by a genuine desire for such a lifestyle, not by fear.]
That said, some areas of the planet are more conducive than others to building a Zone of Safety—and within every country, some areas are better than others. The worst place to be is in an inner-city apartment totally dependent on external systems of light, heat, water, and food. All it takes is a major storm knocking out power for a day—or a riot—to underscore the fragility and vulnerability of such a lifestyle.
The first order of business is to find an area to live in—if not a country to live in. Surprisingly, some First World countries will be among the worst to weather the shock; whereas some Third World countries will offer a smoother ride. There is a mix of factors to consider: geography, altitude, urban/rural, water source, population density, cultural values.
Geography: Generally, areas within 30 to 40 degrees of the equator, north and south, offer the safest haven. Much of the world’s population lives within this zone already. Remember that Nature always seeks balance, and that balance is easiest to maintain in regions that don’t see severe seasonal shifts over an annual cycle. Regions outside this zone—including northern Europe, the northern United States, and Canada—by the very nature of their profound seasonal variations, are more fragile and vulnerable to extremes, including more severe winters and storms. Life is simply more difficult to sustain in already adverse climates likely to become more so.
Everywhere in the world, coastal areas are to be avoided. Rising sea levels threaten cities, groundwater, and coastal agriculture; hotter temperatures portend unbearably torrid weather; collapsing fisheries threaten loss of food and livelihoods; more severe hurricanes, typhoons, and storms will lash the coasts. The spread of tropical, mosquito-borne diseases beyond their traditional zone portends misery and disease. The Zone of Safety begins about 100 miles inland from the coast.
Altitude: Temperature rises as altitude falls. It is best to avoid low-lying areas, including inland areas at or near sea level, because there rising temperatures will be most severe; marginal lands will decline to desert. Climbing in altitude offers a buffer: stable agriculture, an equable climate, fewer storms, fewer mosquitoes. From about 3,000 feet to 10,000 feet at the extremes—and, best, 5,000 to 8,000 feet—is the best altitudinal niche for a Zone of Safety.
Urban/Rural: We have already mentioned that city dwellers are in an especially vulnerable position in the event of disrupted utilities or food supply. Consider, also, the multiplier effect when millions of people are hungry and desperate. Rural areas, or smaller cities and towns surrounded by rural land, are the Zone of Safety.
Water Source: Where does a region’s water come from? Rain, glacial melt, rivers, groundwater, a mix? Those regions of the world heavily dependent on glacial runoff for drinking water—Southeast Asia, parts of South America—will suffer drastically as glaciers evaporate. Water is essential to life, and further essential to agriculture. Areas dependent on rainwater may experience dramatic shifts in traditional rainfall patterns; yet these areas are safer than glacier-dependent areas. With improved systems in capturing and storing rainfall—rather than depending on a traditional rainfall cycle—these areas will adapt. Groundwater pumping as a reserve backup—not as a primary source—would enhance safety.
Population Density: Those areas of the world already groaning under burgeoning numbers—Southeast Asia (again); Africa; the cities of the Americas and Europe—are more vulnerable to climate change because they have so many mouths to feed; and their vast numbers breed an alienation which makes social cohesion unravel that much more readily. Again, we look to rural areas, or small cities and towns, to locate a Zone of Safety.
Cultural Values: Cultures differ in their attitude toward outsiders. This is especially relevant if you look outside your home country for a Zone of Safety. If you buy land in a Third World country, can you be sure the laws guarantee your ownership? Will the locals resent or welcome new arrivals? If push comes to shove—and an area suffers severe effects of climate change—will your property and life be respected? Most likely this is dependent on your attitude toward your new neighbors, whether you seek to learn their culture and language and work to integrate yourself into their society; but consider also the cultural mores regarding outsiders—friends or foreigners?
Considering all these factors, those areas that meet all our criteria are inland regions of temperate climate and moderate altitude; namely, the southern United States, Mexico, northern South America, and southern Europe. There are pockets elsewhere—there are pockets everywhere—but Africa is best avoided, as are Southeast Asia and Central America. Islands are to be avoided. There are pockets in the belt stretching from Southeastern Europe through the Caucasus and Kazakhstan, but cultural and linguistics differences, as well as political instability, are to be considered.
Fearlessly Facing the Future
If you find yourself reacting with fear and urgency to this material, such is not our intent. Let us affirm the following:
1. Nothing is written in stone vis-à-vis the effects of global warming and other potential crises. Scientists can model all they like—and their prognostications are of value—but ultimately no one can predict the course of global events; too many variables are involved.
2. Do we predict the collapse of civilization? No, we point out that in its current manifestation it is unsustainable: Nature can’t replace “natural resources” as fast as they are extracted, ground up, and burned. How, whether, to what degree civilization will decline is as unknowable as the state of the planet a century hence; for your infinitely clever species may well avoid the worst with technology not yet conceived. Still, the trend must be toward restoring a lifestyle more in harmony with natural and spiritual principles.
3. Remember that you chose to be here in this time of turmoil and transformation—“you” meaning your higher self—and that you are meant to participate meaningfully in the family and culture in which you were born. Working together to avoid the worst potentials of global warming is a greater triumph than retreating to a survivalist bunker, gun in hand. Further, the mass migrations likely to occur—and the smaller-scale relocation of North Americans and Europeans to congenial climes—promises a mixing of previously discrete racial, ethnic and cultural groups, leading toward a blended human family.
4. If you still feel fear or anxiety about the coming period of upheaval, reframe the issue. Can civilization as currently constituted continue its rapacious destruction of the Earth? Do you want it to? Can humankind expand its numbers ad infinitum, until every other species is crowded off the planet? Do you want it to? Do you approve of restoring a smaller-scale human lifestyle in harmony with natural and spiritual principles? Viewed this way, the long-term effects of the global warming crisis are salutary: reducing human impact on the planet; restoring a sustainable human population living an ecologically harmonious lifestyle.
In the end, the Zone of Safety lies inside you: for the one who walks in inner peace and harmony meets any crisis with deep equanimity. May you walk in peace.
Author Bio :
Ramón Stevens channeling Alexander. Excerpted from Spirit Wisdom II: The Enlightened Warrior’s Guide to Personal and Cultural Transformation. Ramón Stevens has been channeling Alexander for over 20 years; their collaboration has produced five books. Website: www.alexandermaterial.com.
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