Vernal Equinox (Spring is here!)

March 21, 2010

The ecliptic path at vernal equinox

Yesterday, at 1:32 p.m., spring arrived in the northern hemisphere, and fall began in the southern. The vernal (spring) equinox marks the time each year when daylight and darkness are exactly equal (in the northern hemisphere; this date marks the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere.

I was privileged to attend the United Nations Earth Day ceremony and the ringing of the peace bell in the rose garden, where I heard the wonderful Tarumi Violinists, directed by Yukako Tarumi, and many interesting speakers on the environment. Among the speakers were Helen Garland, chairperson of the Earth Society Foundation, co-founded with John McConnell and supported by noted anthropologist Margaret Mead; Simon Reeves from New Zealand; Vahan Galoumian, Project Coordinator of UNESCO‘s liason office in New York, and Andres Gomez of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural History at the American Museum of Natural History.

John McConnell's Earth Flag

We are losing habitat and biodiversity at an alarming rate; 40% of the Amazon rainforest will be lost by 2030 if deforestation continues at present rates; soil and fisheries depletion are accelerating, and 30,000 people per day are dying from lack of access to clean water. These are severe problems that need solutions, and I thank all of yesterday’s speakers for their dedication to these issues.

Yet too often, the multinational corporations and the men and women who run them are portrayed as arch-villains; I find this disturbing for many reasons, chief among them that these men and women are people just like you and me, and no man or woman is my enemy. For better or for worse, these corporations are here to stay, and we need to enlist them as partners to move forward; the way to peace can only be through peace. As Jurrian Kamp, editor-in-chief of Ode magazine states in his article We need to end climate anger: “…environmentalists… need to embrace all the people they fear stand in the way of the progress the planet needs: the politicians and industrial leaders.”

To be sure, corporations must practice corporate responsibility and become good planetary citizens, and their track record on this has been dismal, yet demonizing these corporations and the men and women who run them is the most ineffective means at our disposal of enlisting their cooperation—and we need their cooperation and access to their vast resources if we are to find solutions to the problems we face. We are all in this together.

The above views are my own, and do not necessarily represent the Woodstock Council for World Peace.


Vote for Peace

February 21, 2010

Click here to register your vote to establish a U.S. Department of Peace, and send your message to Congress here. The bill to establish a Department of Peace is now before the House of Representatives, and, among other things, would provide funding to establish a U.S. Peace Academy which would act as a counterpart to the U.S. Military Academy, teach violence prevention and mediation to America’s school children, and provide complimentary support to our military by engaging in parallel peace-building activities.

The Woodstock Council for World Peace has already sent a letter of support for the Department of Peace to Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who first introduced this bill in July 2001, shortly before the attacks of 9/11. Unfortunately, our country’s reaction to those attacks, and George W. Bush’s mistaken policy of GWOT (Global War on Terror) has allowed this bill to languish. Make your voices heard, and tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and your representatives that you want the United States Department of Peace to become a reality.

We are living in a world that is witnessing the threats of habitat and biodiversity loss, fisheries depletion, global economic stress and world hunger; in such a world, war is unsustainable.

The above views are my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of The Woodstock Council for World Peace.

Woodstock Council Meeting

December 13, 2009

Tomorrow, December 13, 2009, the Woodstock Council for World Peace is meeting at the Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Road in Woodstock, NY, from 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. All are invited; among the subjects for discussion are website development, fund raising, and projects to be taken on/promoted by the Council. We must choose the work we will do that will best sustain the Council and most effectively promote the cause of peace. Please come; we invite and need your input on these important matters.

Rooted in Peace

December 5, 2009

“For a long time people thought you have to have a big organization to do anything, but I’m now convinced its going to be millions of small organizations that will actually do the job of bringing the world together.”
—Pete Seeger, from Greg Reitman’s upcoming film, Rooted in Peace

Rooted in Peace is a film currently in production written and directed by Greg Reitman, a wonderful person who works hard to further the causes of peace and understanding. He braved the cold and rain to walk with us over the Brooklyn Bridge this past Monday, November 30th, 2009. He participated in Universal Peace Day with Phil Sauers, Su Zen, Gloria Waslyn and all the other wonderful people who were involved. His contributions help to make the world a better place. We eagerly await this movie’s release, and extend our thanks to Greg for all that he’s done, and continues to do.

Water is Life

November 29, 2009

Without water, there is no life—nearly 30,000 people die daily because of lack of access to clean water. Without water, there can be no peace. This informative and award-winning documentary, FLOW (For Love of Water) is available for free viewing here. Please watch it.

Videos from Leonardo DiCaprio

November 17, 2009

Please watch the informative video Water Planet, from Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s available under A/V (Media) at right, or by clicking the link above. Leo has also produced another short film on Global Warming, that is worth watching. If these links don’t work, go to Leo’s site, you’ll be able to view them there.

China and U.S. announce accords

November 17, 2009

We are pleased to see that U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have agreed that our countries must work together to confront some of the most serious issues that the world is facing. They have agreed that we must come up with a comprehensive plan of action regarding climate change in Copenhagen, and that we must address the problems of nuclear proliferation, economic development and recovery together.