Monday, November 8, 2010

Sailing in the Same Boat

After an orange cloud--
as a result of a
dust storm over the
and caught up by air currents--

reached the Philippines and
settled there as rain,

I understood that we are
all sailing in the same boat.

~Astronaut Vladimir Kovalyonok

Of Note: Remember the first time you saw that extraordinary picture of Earth taken from the orbiting space capsule? I do. The blues and greens and clouds that we instinctively associated with the world were real, I thought with wonder. Earth looked like a living, breathing Being--radiant and beautiful--as it whirled through space at top speed. And so it is, according to the teachings of ageless wisdom, which contends that Earth as living is also conscious. Thus, we can ask what would Earth think of the current state of affairs in the allocation of its abundant resources freely provided to humanity? Would it approve of the current and past state of affairs in which resources and conflict are often inextricably intertwined in a violent dance of death? Do nations or corporations have an intrinsic right to claim these resources as their own? These might have been some of the underlying questions asked at a two-week United Nations conference on biodiversity convened on October 18th and attended by representatives from 198 nations. Specifically, attendees discussed ways to halt "the global loss of species and fairly share benefits that arise from biodiversity." At issue is the practice of corporate procurement of genetic benefits from the biodiversity of developing nations with little return to the originating nation. We are talking money, and a dispute between rich and poor nations threatens to stall ongoing negotiations to a mutually advantageous benefit-sharing agreement. Some progressive nations already have such laws on the books, but most do not. Even though an international agreement has yet to be reached, the conference represents a beginning to a future which includes systematized benefit sharing. Once that milestone is reached, the larger question of resource sharing will certainly emerge as the next major step on humanity's evolutionary ladder. The developed nations should keep in mind that developing nations may have the upper hand in that discussion given that they control many of the resources needed for future development. Thus, even-handedness in the current discussions may lead to more fruitful talks down the line.

Today's Weather Report: The meteorologists had it spot on today with blue skies and highs in the 50's--all the better to finish a couple of outdoor projects. We northerners watch the death of the summer each year with various emotions. Mine is usually euphoria because the garden is put to bed for the year, and an interlude of hibernation is before me. Some prepare for all the winter sports. There are the snowmobilers, who make lots of noise, or the snowshoers, who don't. Skiers are in the second camp, and ice fishermen and women fall somewhere in between. Me? I just take the quiet time and study and watch and think. It is a time of spiritual rejuvenation and harvest from the previous season. Recently, I posted my 600th blog, which was started in the dead of winter 2007 - 2008. My husband has a saying: "It really doesn't get any better than this." That would describe my experience of winter perfectly.